CityNews: Anti-pipeline protest in Mi’kmaq community shuts down rail line in eastern Quebec

by Giuseppe Valiante , The Canadian Press Posted Feb 14, 2020 6:06 pm EST

The president of a railway company in northern Quebec says protesters blocking the rail line in a First Nations community in support of the blockade against the Coastal GasLink pipeline are costing his company about $15,000 a day in revenue. A checkpoint is seen at a bridge leading to the Unist’ot’en camp on a remote logging road near Houston, B.C., Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

MONTREAL — The president of a railway company in eastern Quebec says anti-pipeline protesters blocking the rail line in a First Nations community are costing his company about $15,000 a day in revenue.

About five or six people from the Mi’kmaq community of Listuguj, about 525 kilometres northeast of Quebec City by the New Brunswick border, have set up a campsite a few feet away from the tracks, said Eric Dube, president of the Chemin de fer de la Gaspesie.

The protest in Listuguj is among the Canada-wide demonstrations that have sprung up since last week in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in northern British Columbia who are attempting to stop the construction of a natural gas pipeline. Protests have disrupted commercial and commuter rail traffic across the country.

Dube said he spoke to a couple of protesters Wednesday. “It seems like they are going to be there a while,” he said in an interview. “They are very determined.”

Director of public security for Listuguj, Peter Arsenault, said his department has no plan to remove the “small occupancy” of people from his community who were camping by the rail line. He said the police force doesn’t want to escalate things.

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