CN blockade continues



SARNIA, Ont. - A controversial blockade at Aamjiwnaang First Nation continues despite attempts to reach a peaceful resolution this week.

A dozen or more protesters have been camped out at a Williams Drive CN spur line in southwestern Ontario since Dec. 21, drawing national media attention, and ire from industry.

"We're still here," said Ron Plain, spokesman for the blockade group.

The group held a meeting Sunday night to discuss alternative ways to support what has become known as the Idle No More movement.

But the protest continued into Monday, despite a statement from band council noting they did not fully support the blockade.

In a letter to community members, the band stated, "Council believes there are a number of ways to continue to support the movement and the membership, which will not put our community's assets and membership in a compromising position."

CN Rail spokesman Jim Feeny had no comment Monday, other than to confirm he was informed at 9 a.m. that the blockade was still set up.

An injunction against the protesters by CN lawyers was extended last week for an indefinite period, while the company - along with the Canadian Propane Association - has been pushing for an end to the blockade, which is disrupting daily rail service to a number of industrial customers.

The group is protesting in support of Attawapiskat First Nations Chief Theresa Spence, who began her hunger strike Dec. 11 to force a meeting with First Nation leaders and the government.

The dispute is over Bill C-45, which removes thousands of waterways from federal jurisdiction and would allow private corporations to buy reserve land.

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