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PM, cabinet meet to find pipeline blockade solutions

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with media as he leaves his office following a meeting of the Incident Response Group in Ottawa, Monday February 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

Federal government working towards ending ongoing rail blockades across the country


Demonstrations are being held to show solidarity with protesters from the Wet'suwet'en nation


Economic and political pressure has been growing over blockades: public safety minister


OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The prime minister is meeting with key cabinet ministers in Ottawa as the federal government continues to work towards ending ongoing rail blockades across the country.

The demonstrations are being held to show solidarity with protesters from the Wet’suwet’en nation, who oppose a Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline being built on their territory.

“The dialogue is continuing hour by hour,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on his way into the meeting of the Incident Response Group on Friday morning.

The economic and political pressure has been growing over these blockades and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said there is still work to do.

“Very much recognize the importance and the urgency of resolving this as quickly as possible,” he told reporters.

This comes days after the RCMP agreed to move its mobile command post on Wet’suwet’en territory, which Blair has said he thinks should be enough to lift the blockades in other provinces. However, the blockades remain.

A group of hereditary chiefs from the Wet’suwet’en are meeting with Mohawks near Belleville, Ont. Friday who are blockading the rail line.

The chiefs say they’re willing to speak with the federal government, but only after the RCMP and Coastal GasLink workers have left their traditional lands.

Trudeau is set to address the nation at 2 p.m. Friday. Wet’suwet’en chiefs are expected to speak later in the day as well.

The government has been trying to secure a meeting with hereditary chiefs, but so far nothing has been arranged.