Freight trains moving through burning tire protest near Belleville, Ont.

Protesters who've set up another camp near the site of Monday's police raid are setting tires on fire around the tracks as freight trains move through — a tactic Canada's public safety minister calls 'unsafe and inappropriate.'

Protest is near site of Monday's police operation that led to 10 arrests

Blair urging protesters to consider safety as fires set along rail line

4 years ago
Duration 1:04
Protesters near the territory of the Mohawks of Tyendinaga have set fires along the tracks, an action Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair called “terribly unsafe.” Rail traffic has resumed, though protesters have set up camp on the south side of the tracks.

Canada's minister of public safety is urging protesters near Belleville, Ont., to stop setting tires on fire around rail tracks as freight trains move through.

"I think it's terribly unsafe and inappropriate," Bill Blair told reporters on Wednesday.

"I would, again, continue to urge people to take the barricades down, to obey the law, and encourage the dialogue that we know is so important to continue."

Ontario Provincial Police arrested 10 people on Monday as they dismantled a camp deemed too close to passenger and freight tracks near Belleville, Ont., saying they tried everything they could to find a peaceful way to enforce a court order to prevent interference with the rail line.

Another camp has since been set up.

A fire burns on the recently opened CN tracks in Tyendinaga, near Belleville, Ont., on Monday. (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

Freight traffic has started moving again through the area near the territory of the Mohawks of Tyendinaga, where people upset with RCMP patrols on the territory of the Wet'suwet'en people in northern B.C. have set up a camp on the south side of the tracks.

They've occasionally burned tires along the tracks since the arrests and were doing it again Wednesday as freight trains passed by.

OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson says Canadian National Railway inspected the tracks after police and firefighters extinguished an earlier fire.

The latest update from Via Rail is that passenger rail travel through the area is cancelled through Saturday, for now.

Train clears crossing near Belleville, Ont., amid standoff

4 years ago
Duration 3:06
Moments before the train reached the crossing at Tyendinaga, protesters had thrown rocks and lit a fire at the side of the tracks.

There have been other demonstrations in support of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs against a natural gas pipeline cutting through their traditional land, outside the control of elected chiefs.

They include a road blockade near the site of an ongoing land dispute in Caledonia, Ont., south of Hamilton, and a rail barricade in the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake near Montreal.

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has said Ottawa is still committed to peacefully resolving the situation that has hampered freight and passenger travel in much of the country for nearly three weeks.

With files from The Canadian Press