February 18, 2020
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister’s Office
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A3
RE: Infrastructure Blockades Damaging Canadian Economy
Dear Prime Minister:
As you are aware, the ongoing rail and other infrastructure blockades taking place in various parts of the country are creating severe problems for public services, Canadian businesses, workers and their families.
We fully share your government’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Numerous Canadian businesses have long-standing, respectful relationships with Indigenous communities. The Canadian business community supports the economic and social imperative of ensuring Indigenous peoples have the same tools to benefit from economic activity as everyone else. We are anxious to partner with governments to build relationships based on the recognition of Indigenous rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
Our member companies collectively employ millions of Canadians from every region and every industrial sector of the economy. We call on your government to work urgently with the provinces and territories, Indigenous leaders and law enforcement authorities to bring an end to the ongoing disruptions and restore normal services without further delay.
In addition to denying access to public transportation for tens of thousands of Canadians, these illegal blockades inflict serious damage on the economy, leaving countless middle-class jobs at risk, many of them in industries that must get their goods, parts, and ingredients to and from market by rail. In addition to disrupting domestic and global supply chains, the blockades undermine Canada’s reputation as a dependable partner in international trade. They also threaten public safety by preventing the distribution of essential products like chlorine for water treatment and propane for heating homes, seniors facilities and farms.
The damage inflicted on the Canadian economy and on the welfare of all our citizens mounts with each hour that these illegal disruptions are allowed to continue. Each additional day rail lines are disrupted requires three to four days for supply chains to recover. This is why it is imperative that the Government act now to get the Canadian economy moving again.