Early into the new year, waves of protests have emerged in Canada. Indigenous activists have begun to organize demonstrations to object the construction of a 670-kilometer pipeline (the Coastal GasLink pipeline) that passes through indigenous lands. One native group that opposes the project is known as the Wet'suwet'en, located out of British Columbia. The Wet'suwet'en did propose alternate routes to Coastal Gaslink, but the routes were rejected in favor of a path that was more technically viable and minimized environmental impact. Coastal Gaslink claims to have consulted with Aboriginal groups in the process of planning the route.
Some groups of protesters have begun to create blockades to show support in blocking the progress of the construction of the pipe. The Canadian National Railway, or CN Rail, has had to shut down its eastern network, greatly limiting trains' ability to cross the country. This led to the layoff of CN employees, with a union spokesman stating anticipations that there will be larger impacts if the blockades continue.
Outside of damages to the railroad industry, propane supplies are running low on the eastern side of the country. Propane cargo had been temporarily halted due to previous train crashes involving oil. According to an executive of the Canadian Propane Association, propane stores are nearly exhausted at some wholesalers. With the blockades, new supplies of propane are unable to reach and restock the nearly empty areas. In addition to propane, industries being damaged by the disruptions in supply chain systems include steel, auto parts, and food product manufacturing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received calls to stop the protests, though he displayed his desire for patience and a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Despite this initial stance, as protests continued, Trudeau began to state the need for the law to be followed by removing the blockades, given the supply shortages and massive number of layoffs. This was followed by the police taking action by arresting several protestors on Monday in an attempt to end the blockade.