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  • Supporters of the indigenous Wet'suwet'en Nation march as part of a protest against British Columbia's Coastal GasLink pipeline, in Toronto, Ontario.

    Supporters of the indigenous Wet'suwet'en Nation march as part of a protest against British Columbia's Coastal GasLink pipeline, in Toronto, Ontario. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 February 2020

Opposition to the project in the North American country has resulted in numerous actions over the past two weeks.

People across Canada continue to demonstrate and take action in support of the Wet'suwet'en Nation who are being forced off their lands by a multibillion-dollar pipeline project crossing the territory of the First Nation in northern British Columbia (BC).

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Opposition to the project in the North American country has resulted in numerous actions including the shutting down of rail lines this weekend at two bridges at the Canada-United States border.

Last week tens of thousands of passengers had to cancel their trips on railways across the country as major track lines were blocked by activists. 

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce had called for an "immediate end" to the blockades warning that "Canada's supply chains are being severely damaged by the continuing interruptions." 

The organized and strategic blockades started Feb. 6 after Canada's Federal Court of Appeal approved the construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline and dismissed legal challenges from First Nations, with the support of the government. 

The protests at railways escalated when the RCMP (Canadian police) raided camps set up by the Wet’suwet’en Nation at the pipeline construction site and arrested dozens.

Environmentalists and First Nations groups had raised concerns about the project's consequences on the environment. They also raised fears that an increase in tanker traffic off the BC coast near Vancouver could lead to a spill.

In December, First Nation groups told the Federal Court of Appeal they were not adequately consulted by the government between August 2018 and June 2019. Canada has what is called a "duty to consult" Indigenous groups when their rights may be affected by resource development projects that cut across their territories.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who canceled a trip to the Caribbean said Monday that his government is committed to finding a quick and peaceful solution to the blockades.

On Monday, Trudeau met with members of his cabinet in Ottawa, where his government has been under increasing pressure to find a way out to the crisis.​​​​​​​ The PM, who said he had spoken to several Indigenous leaders, did not offer any details on how his administration plan to deal with the crisis.

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