Students plan alternative reading week transportation as railway blockades continue

Some of Waterloo Region’s large student population is figuring out different ways of getting home for reading week due to cancelled VIA Train services.

Continued railway blockades across Canada protesting against a pipeline project in British Columbia forced VIA to shut down its passenger service on Thursday.

Laurier student Spencer Lynn says her sister is searching for another way to get home after her train was cancelled.

“It’s a stressful time and not ideal for her,” she said. “She had an exam Friday and it definitely wasn’t a good interruption to have during that process.”

Other students told CTV Kitchener they were looking to busses or GO Trains as alternatives.

VIA Rail is refunding cancelled tickets but say they won’t be accepting any new bookings before Feb. 18.

A blockade outside of Bellville of protesters showing solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs is just one of many across the country causing the halt in train traffic.

The federal indigenous affairs minister met with the protesters Saturday morning.

“Indigenous people are not just protesting a pipeline,” said Wilfrid Laurier University professor Dr. Karen Lochead. “They’re protesting in response to their rights and being overlooking by governments and developers.”