Trudeau Cancels Barbados Trip As Rail Blockade Brings Traffic To A Standstill


David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won’t be going to Barbados on Monday where he planned to begin lobbying Caribbean leaders for a Canadian seat on the United Nations Security Council.

He is staying in Canada to deal with an escalating railway blockade by environmentalists that is threatening to create economic chaos in a country that is reliant on the railroads to transport food and fuel to its far-flung population. Trudeau has criss-crossed the globe in February, seeking support in Europe and Africa for Canada’s bid for a seat on the Security Council.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany Feb. 14, 2020. REUTERS/ Andreas Gebert

REUTERS/ Andreas Gebert

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced the cancellation Sunday evening, saying the federal government would be convening a meeting of the Incident Response Group to “address infrastructure disruptions across the country.” (RELATED: Trudeau Criticized For Bowing To Iranian Foreign Minister As He Seeks UN Security Council Seat)

“We will remain in close contact with other orders of government and partners,” the statement continued. “Our priority remains the safety and security of all Canadians and the swift resolution of this issue to restore service across the rail system in accordance with the law.”

His focus on the U.N. has angered many as Trudeau has refused to intervene in a blockade that has brought all rail traffic in Canada to a stop. Environmental activists, claiming to represent First Nations, have stopped all freight and passenger rail service in Canada to protest a court decision to proceed with natural gas pipeline. (RELATED: Trudeau Government Flip-Flops On Licensing Media Outlets)

Senegal's President Macky Sall welcomes Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the presidential palace in Dakar, Senegal February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Moustafa Cheaiteli

REUTERS/Moustafa Cheaiteli

Canadian manufacturers are warning of a “potential catastrophe” if rail traffic remains closed because food and fuel shortages will result.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has criticized Trudeau’s lack of focus on escalating domestic problems and  for “running around” Africa and Europe in search of Security Council support. Police have refused to intervene in protests that have brought rail traffic to a standstill.