Manitoba

Railway protest against B.C. pipeline shuts down at day's end near Letellier, Man.

A railway protest in southern Manitoba was short-lived on Sunday, only days after demonstrators opposing a pipeline in northern B.C. abandoned a blockade west of Winnipeg.

Another blockade west of Winnipeg was abandoned when protesters were served with a court injunction

A handful of protesters gather near Letellier, Man., on Sunday to protest a new natural gas pipeline in northern B.C. (Submitted by Derek Cassidy)

A railway protest in southern Manitoba was short-lived on Sunday, only days after another group of demonstrators opposing a pipeline in northern B.C. abandoned a blockade west of Winnipeg.

RCMP began monitoring the new protest near Letellier, more than 80 kilometres south of Winnipeg, when they became aware of it Sunday morning at 8:40 a.m., RCMP spokesperson Robert Cyrenne said in an email.

He said shortly after 5 p.m. that protesters had left the area. 

The demonstration took place near a north-south CN rail line about two kilometres north of Letellier, RCMP said.

A train was parked nearby, but did not move because the protesters were too close to the rail line, RCMP said.

Police say they strive to build trust

"We are mindful of our roles and responsibilities to the public to keep the peace and to be part of the solution," Cyrenne  said in an email, adding that a liaison team trained in communication spoke to the protesters.

The previous demonstration started last Wednesday at a CN rail line about seven kilometres west of Winnipeg's Perimeter Highway. It ended the next day after the courts granted an injunction to CN. 

Derek Cassidy, a member of Roseau River First Nation, said he joined the protest for a few hours.

The Letellier demontration is the second protest at a CN rail line in Manitoba in a week. Protesters say they support Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs in northern B.C. who are trying to stop construction of a natural gas pipeline. (Submitted by Derek Cassidy)

Protests across the country have crippled train service and held up traffic in cities. 

The demonstrators support Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who are trying to stop construction of a Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline running to Kitimat on B.C.'s North Coast. RCMP began enforcing a court order against them earlier this month, arresting dozens of people and sparking protests across the country.

While the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs oppose the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline, 20 elected First Nation band councils have signed agreements in support, including five of the six councils in Wet'suwet'en nation. 

About the Author

Ian Froese

Reporter

Ian Froese is a reporter with CBC Manitoba. He has previously worked for newspapers in Brandon and Steinbach. Story idea? Email: ian.froese@cbc.ca.

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