FILE – Protesters speak to Ontario Provincial Police officers at a rail blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, near Belleville, Ont., on Monday Feb. 24, 2020, as they protest in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chiefs attempting to halt construction of a natural gas pipeline on their traditional territories. Analysts say Canadian National Railway Co. saw lower freight volumes last quarter due to rolling blockades that halted rail traffic across swathes of the country in February. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Blockades expected to derail CN’s Q1 results, COVID-19 looms down the line

Multiple blockades popped up all over Canada in support of Wet’suwet’en

Analysts expect Canadian National Railway Co.’s first-quarter freight volumes to take a hit due to rolling blockades that halted rail traffic across large swathes of the country in February.

The blockades came on top of lower container volumes from China following production shutdowns triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak, but hefty crude-by-rail shipments helped offset the declines.

CEO JJ Ruest has said the deep slump in Chinese production and Canadian auto manufacturing was narrowing the flow of goods to and from Canada, hurting business at the country’s largest railway in spite of strong demand for grain and other bulk commodities.

Analyst Walter Spracklin of RBC Dominion Securities says the blockades last winter dented volumes and pushed up its operating ratio, a metric that calculates operating expenses as a percentage of revenue.

CN shut down its eastern network on Feb. 13, one week into a blockade by Tyendinaga Mohawk protesters that cut a key rail link east of Belleville, Ont.

Provincial police cleared the demonstration at the end of February, which was part of a slew of pop-up blockades across the country launched in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline slated to pass through their traditional territory in British Columbia.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en chiefs, ministers reach proposed agreement in B.C. pipeline dispute

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CN RailCoronavirusIndigenousrailway

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey student earns TD Community Leadership scholarship

Harjot Bal recognized for his One Blood For Life Foundation

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

New Serpentine rail bridge completed in Cloverdale-Sullivan

$3 million crossing replacement marks first of 13 flood-mitigation projects

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read

l -->