via rail protest

VIA cancels trains after protesters block tracks between Toronto and Montreal

Travelers looking to go to Ottawa or Montreal from Toronto by train today will unfortunately not be able to get where they're going.

Demonstrators opposing construction of the contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline in B.C. gathered at the CN Rail tracks near Belleville this morning, causing VIA Rail to cease train service for routes passing through the Marysville stop. This includes 20 trains scheduled for today.

VIA says in a special statement on its website that "none of the trains" on its Toronto-Montreal or Toronto-Ottawa routes will be operating "until the issue is resolved."

Protesters, who are from a community in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, came with vehicles, flags and signs reading "#RCMP get out" and "Indian land."

This comes a day after six activists were arrested by RCMP officers near a key pipeline work site around Wet’suwet’en First Nation members' 39 km checkpoint camp.

The 670 km gas line will cut through Wet’suwet’en territory in the north of the province, where peaceful protests have been ongoing. Anti-pipeline rallies in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en and their constitutional right to manage their land have also been taking place in cities across the country.

The Mounties recently vowed to use "the least amount of force necessary" to remove protestors in their enforcement of a court injunction to permit GasLink access to recommence work near the 39 km camp. The company had previously established agreements with 20 elected First Nations band councils along the route.

All commuters impacted by the train disruption today will be automatically refunded by the rail company.

Lead photo by

Oyohserase Maracle


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