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CN Rail seeks to block Manitoba aboriginal protest

Updated: 10:55 a.m. PT June 22, 2006

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Canadian National Railway asked the courts Thursday to stop Indian groups in Manitoba from carrying out threats to block rail lines next week in a land claims dispute.

Several aboriginal groups have warned they will disrupt operations of CN and Canadian Pacific Railway in the western Canadian province on June 29 in a bid to pressure the federal government to speed up action on land claims.

The main lines of both railroads run through Manitoba, and CN's track is used by passenger carrier VIA Rail.

Canadian National said it has talked to several of the groups that are threatening the 24-hour blockades, and has asked the Manitoba courts for an advance injunction to prevent the protests.

"CN has no authority to resolve First Nations' land claims disputes with the federal government, and said rail blockades would be unsafe and unfairly harm CN, its customers and their employees, and the national economy," the railway said in press release.

Canadian Pacific said it has no immediate plans to ask the court for an advance injunction, but was assessing the potential impact of a disruption on its business.

"In general, CPR has had a positive and productive relationship with First Nations," spokesman Ed Greenberg said.

Aboriginal protesters in April briefly shut down CN's main line between Toronto and Montreal, causing the railway to park at least 20 freight trains and disrupting travel for some 3,500 VIA passengers.

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