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Port of Halifax hoping to keep cargo moving during CN Rail shutdown

Over 60 per cent of the goods going through Halifax's ports are moved by rail
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South End Container Terminal (Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

The Port of Halifax's container terminals are still open and operating.

This after CN Rail announced late Thursday it would begin a progressive shutdown of its operations in Eastern Canada, which is everything east of Toronto.

Protesters have been blocking rail lines in solidarity with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation, who oppose a major pipeline project that crosses their traditional territory in northwestern British Columbia.

Via Rail, which mostly runs on CN lines, has also been forced to cancel almost all of its passenger service across the country.

Halifax Port Authority spokesperson, Lane Farguson, said over 60 per cent of the goods going through Halifax's ports are moved by rail.

"So the longer this carries on, what we're going to see is a backlog of import cargo that sits on the dock and a lack of export cargo that can't get here," he explained.

Farguson said they're working closely with terminal operators to maximize the available yard space.

"At this point, the schedules haven't been affected, but like everything else with this situation, the longer it carries on, the more challenging things become," he added.

"We're going to do everything we can to keep cargo moving as best we can, given what's happening.

The rail shutdown could also lead to a propane shortage in the Maritimes.

Ian Wilson of Wilson Fuel says his company is already rationing the supply by partially filling customers' tanks.

With files from Canadian Press
 


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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