Burnaby Board of Trade demands an end to blockades

The Burnaby Board of Trade wants the government to do something about the anti-pipeline protest blockades happening across Canada.

But the board’s president stops short of saying what should be done.

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In a letter posted to the board’s website on Friday, Feb. 14, board president Paul Holden calls on the federal and provincial governments to “de-escalate and end ongoing blockades of key infrastructure.”

“The Burnaby Board of Trade, representing over 1,100 distinct businesses and organizations in our community, is writing to you regarding the recent blockades throughout B.C. and across Canada. We are asking your two levels of government to work together to de-escalate this issue and resolve the ongoing disruptions to public services, major transportation corridors, trade-enabling infrastructure and key rail services,” the letter stated.

The letter goes on to say that the right to protest is a cornerstone of democracy, but the economic effect of the blockades is a major issue.

“The blockades over the past several days have had significant negative effects on our national, provincial and local economies by shutting down major roadways, preventing access to public transportation, and disrupting shipments through our ports and railways,” the letter stated.  “These blockades are preventing both the movement of people, goods and services within our region, and the transport of products across Canada and onto international markets.”

Protesters are blockading intersections and railways across the country this week in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and supporters, after the RCMP enforced an injunction against those blocking the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline construction.

The letter can be found on the board's website.

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