In a joint letter to Prime Minster Justin Trudeau dated February 19, 2020, representatives of various Canadian industries – from the Canadian Automobile Manufacturers Association to the Food Processors Association and numerous provincial and regional chambers of commerce – urge quick resolution to the current blockades along Canada’s rail lines, which are critical national infrastructure.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) is among the signatories, representing CAPP member companies in the upstream oil and natural gas industry.
In part, the letter states, “The ongoing rail and other infrastructure blockades taking place in various parts of the country are creating severe problems for public services, Canadian businesses, workers and their families. In addition to denying access to public transportation for tens of thousands of Canadians, these illegal blockades inflict serious damage on the economy, leaving countless middle-class jobs at risk.
“We fully share your government’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Numerous Canadian businesses have long-standing, respectful relationships with Indigenous communities. The Canadian business community supports the economic and social imperative of ensuring Indigenous peoples have the same tools to benefit from economic activity as everyone else. We are anxious to partner with governments to build relationships based on the recognition of Indigenous rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
“We call on your government to work urgently with the provinces and territories, Indigenous leaders and law enforcement authorities to bring an end to the ongoing disruptions and restore normal services without further delay.”
Tim McMillan, CAPP president and CEO, said, "It is clear that our railway system is being used as a bargaining chip, with specific groups of protesters creating a dangerous and unfortunate situation – essentially shutting down the railway and trying to shut down Canada. Everyone in this country has the right to peaceful protest and to be heard, but that is not what is happening. These are illegal protests, and the economy and function of our country cannot be held hostage.”