Rail Line Cleared and Commuter Service Back to Normal in Toronto Area

February 26, 2020 Updated: February 26, 2020
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TORONTO—Commuter rail traffic is back to normal in the Greater Toronto Area after police made arrests at a protest that emerged during rush hour on Feb. 25, as part of ongoing rail blockades across the country.

Toronto police say they arrested three people at the demonstrations in the city’s west end, that were in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline cutting across their traditional territory.

Police said in a tweet on the morning of Feb. 26, that officers provided protesters with an injunction and began moving them from rail tracks.

They say most were co−operative, but “arrests were made when necessary.”

The blockade threatened to delay morning commutes west of the city, but police say the rail line has been cleared and most commuter rail lines were running on time or with minor delays.

In the last two days, demonstrators set up new sites in Ontario and Quebec, including one that has affected a major commuter rail system serving a huge swath of southern Ontario.

A protest at a Hamilton GO station caused numerous cancellations and delays since Monday evening, but local police said protesters left the blockade site in the city peacefully at around 5 p.m. Feb. 25.

Other new disruptions that surfaced Feb. 25, include a blockade along a highway near the site of an ongoing land dispute in Caledonia, Ont., and one along a stretch of rail in Sherbrooke, Que., about 150 kilometers east of Montreal.

Several high−profile blockades were dismantled by police in B.C. and Ontario earlier this week.

trains Via Rail Canada
Cancelled rail arrivals and departures are listed on the board at Central Station in Montreal, Canada, on Feb. 14, 2020. (Ryan Remiorz/TheCanadianPress)

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Mark 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.