CN Rail has turned to the courts to prevent any future disruption of service by the Gitxsan First Nation.
“CN applied for, and has received, from the Supreme Court of British Columbia an injunction barring anyone from trespassing on CN’s rail line between Smithers and Terrace, B.C., or physically obstructing CN’s train operations in this corridor. CN obtained the injunction Aug. 5 to ensure continued rail service for the benefit of its customers in this important rail corridor,” explained CN director of communications and public affairs Mark Hallman.
“CN expects the injunction to be respected. At this time there has been no attempt to interfere or halt CN operations in the area.”
The Gitxsan blocked the rail line leading to Prince Rupert between 10 p.m. on Aug. 5 and 6 a.m. on Aug. 6, but Hallman said there was no impact on CN operations during the blockage.
It could be a quiet day at terminals in Prince Rupert as the Gitxsan First Nation have vowed to shut down rail traffic.
The move comes following eviction orders served to CN, forestry operators and the sport fishing industry as a dispute surrounding land claims between the Gitxsan and federal and provincial governments continue. The Gitxsan allege portions of their territory were offered to the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum bands.
The parties met on Aug. 4, but Gitxsan negotiator Gwaans (Beverley Clifton Percival) said no plan to withdraw those offers was prsented and it “leaves no choice but to continue through with the evictions”.
“Minister Rustad claims they are working with the Gitxsan on this, yet we have received what amounts to a non-response to our solution to the impasse. This is why the reconciliation process is not working in British Columbia. Despite court rulings there seems to be no willingness to follow the law,” she said.
Traffic was to be blocked beginning at 10 p.m. last night, meaning not coal, grain or container trains could reach or depart Prince Rupert, but Prince Rupert Port Authority manager of corporate communications Michael Gurney said operations have not been impacted thus far.
“We are watching the situation closely and will be prepared to respond appropriately,” he said.
CN did not immediately return request for comment from the Northern View.