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

Health and safety regulations to be followed by schools as they reopen Monday

Ministry of Education wrote a letter to parents dated May 28.

Wear a mask to protect others, says Vanderhoof’s top doctor

“I think wearing a mask is a small inconvenience when weighed against the possibility of giving vulnerable members of our community an infection that could kill them,” the doctor said.

Here is what school will look like for FLESS students

Students are going back to school on June 1 on a voluntary, part-time basis.

7 projects in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Burns Lake receive NKDF funding

Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society announced $139,702 in funding on May 29.

School buses for SD91 to start running from June 1

Parents urged to drop off and pick kids up whenever possible.

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read