CN Rail will not pursue contempt case related to 2020 rail blockade in B.C.

Canadian National Railway says it will not pursue criminal charges against protesters accused of defying an injunction and blocking a CN rail line in northwestern British Columbia nearly two years ago.

The BC Prosecution Service announced in April it was not in the public interest to pursue criminal contempt charges against protesters, but a B.C. Supreme Court ruling last month found CN could continue its own legal action.

In an email statement Friday, Canadian National says it is satisfied the injunction was “ultimately enforced” and the company “does not intend to pursue criminal or civil contempt against any of the protesters.”

Twelve people, including three hereditary chiefs, were arrested for blockading CN Rail’s north line near New Hazelton in February 2020.

The arrests occurred as demonstrations, including several rail blockades, took place across Canada in solidarity with Indigenous opposition to construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline across hereditary territories in northern B.C.

An update posted by Coastal GasLink this week says construction of the 670-kilometre pipeline between Dawson Creek and the liquefied natural gas facility near Kitimat is 60 per cent finished, with completion expected by the end of this year.

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