Sudbury·Photos

More than 100 people gather along highway 144 to protest Gogama derailment clean-up

More than one hundred protesters slowed down cars and trucks along a northern Ontario highway today.

Protesters stopped cars and trucks, asking motorists to sign their petition

Protesters say they're concerned about the clean-up work that was done following a major train derailment near Gogama in March 2015. (Sophie Houle-Drapeau/Radio-Canada)

More than one hundred protesters slowed down cars and trucks along a northern Ontario highway today.

The protesters along Highway 144 were mainly residents of the nearby town of Gogama and the Mattagami First Nation—-about 2 hours north of Sudbury.

Protesters say they're concerned about the clean-up work that was done following a major train derailment near their home.

In March 2015, a CN train derailed and caught on fire, sending more than one million litres of crude oil into the nearby river.

CN cleaned up the site, but traces of oil still remain in the water.

The protest along highway 144. (Sophie Houle-Drapeau/Radio-Canada)

Gogama's fire chief Mike Benson, who has taken his concerns all the way to Prime Minister Trudeau, was at the protest.

"We're here because CN left the oil in our river. We want our river cleaned. It's running down the river now down into the lake," he said.

"We are serious. We're not playing anymore. This [protest] is step number one. We want that oil cleaned and we want that oil cleaned now."

Protesters stopped vehicles and asked drivers to sign a petition that will be sent to Queen's Park and CN.

Both CN and the Ministry of the Environment have stated there are still traces of oil in the waters around Gogama, but say the oil poses no danger to people or wildlife.

A CN spokesperson told CBC News that attempting to take more oil out of the waters near Gogama will do more harm than good to the local environment.

With files from Sophie Houle-Drapeau

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.