The Canadian government will continue ongoing efforts to address infrastructure disruptions.
In Canada, indigenous demonstrations continue to suspend train service in some parts of the country, so Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has decided to cancel his attendance at the meeting of the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, that will begin today in Barbados.
On this two-day diplomatic trip, which was to begin this Monday, Trudeau would bring his proposal for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Instead, he sent Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne.
Trudeau's decision not to leave the country comes amid growing pressure from business and political leaders who insist that the government must take a more active role in resolving the railroad crisis that experts say is damaging the economy.
The riots and their impact on the economy amount to a "national crisis," said Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller during an appearance on Radio-Canada's political program "Les coulisses du pouvoir" (Behind the scenes of power).
Miller, who met Saturday for more than nine hours with members of the Mohawk First Nation, said only "modest progress" has been made in talks to end the major blockade near Belleville, Ontario, which caused VIA Rail and CN Rail to cancel rail services.
"We can reach a peaceful resolution. We have ample reason why dialogue is preferable to police intervention," Miller added.
Although the Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades, the Prime Minister's Office has assured in a statement that it will continue ongoing efforts to address infrastructure disruptions across the country.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll convene an Incident Response Group meeting with @MarcMillerVM, @Carolyn_Bennett, @MarcGarneau, @BillBlair, @cafreeland, @pablorodriguez & @Bill_Morneau to address infrastructure disruptions across the country & discuss the path forward. Details to follow.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 16, 2020
"Our priority remains the safety of all Canadians and the rapid resolution of this issue to restore service throughout the rail system following the law," the statement said.
Trudeau, who returned to Canada last Friday after spending a week in Ethiopia, Kuwait, Senegal, and Germany, according to his public agenda, will convene the Incident Response Group on Monday to discuss the next steps in the crisis facing the country.