Trudeau holds cabinet talks as Wet’suwet’en solidarity rail blockades continue

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in talks over the weekend with federal cabinet ministers as protesters opposed to a pipeline project in British Columbia continued to halt train service across parts of the country.

Trudeau’s spokeswoman Chantal Gagnon says the prime minister has already spoken to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations.

READ MORE: Rail blockades must be resolved ‘the right way,’ Indigenous Services minister says

Gagnon says Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller also briefed Trudeau about his hours-long meeting Saturday with representatives of the Mohawk First Nation near Belleville, Ont., where a rail blockade has shut down train service across much of Eastern Canada.

1:51Face-to-face meetings begin as nation-wide protests grind rail traffic to a halt

Face-to-face meetings begin as nation-wide protests grind rail traffic to a halt

“These issues are not going away anytime soon unless we do this the right way,” Miller said in an interview with The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson on Sunday. “And yesterday was a small attempt to do so.”

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Miller told Global News that the end of the meeting “a bit of confidence” had been built.

READ MORE: Minister wraps up meeting with Mohawk First Nation members over blockades

“This is something that’s fluid, and is moving on an hourly basis,” Miller said. “But we remain committed and engaged to resolve this in a peaceful way.”

Gagnon did not reveal what Miller told the prime minister, and said the government would provide updates as they become available.

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades, which have been erected to protest the Coastal GasLink project in B.C., which is part of a $40-billion LNG Canada export project in Kitimat.

–With files from Global News

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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