On Friday afternoon, Canada announced that it will take action against the Wet’suwet’en rail blockades and enforce injunctions against anti-pipeline protestors.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Justin Trudeau called the railroad blockades “unacceptable and untenable.”
He said, “Canadians have been patient, and our government has been patient. But it has been two weeks and the barricades need to come down now.”
Trudeau conveyed his frustration over the situation, saying, “I expressed our desire to work in partnership with all parties concerned. That was four days ago.”
He added that the government has met Wet’suwet’en demands, including the RCMP leaving Indigenous territory. Since Indigenous chiefs have still refused to cooperate, Trudeau believes that the “onus is shifted onto Indigenous leadership.”
Trudeau acknowledged the significant job loss that the blockades have caused, saying that he “cannot continue to watch Canadians suffer.”
Although Trudeau expects provincial police to enforce injunctions, he ruled out involving the army, saying, “You do not use the army against Canadian civilians.”
Notably, the Prime Minister also differentiated between two types of protests: a protest that is truly “grounded in historic marginalization” and a protest that merely “uses Indigenous protests to call out a particular project with which they disagree.”
Trudeau believes that the railroad blockades are the latter.
The Prime Minister could not confirm when railways will be fully operational again.