Via Rail to partially restore Ottawa-Toronto service Tuesday

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A key Ottawa travel corridor is set to reopen with partial service on Tuesday following weeks of blockades stemming from protests over a B.C. natural gas pipeline.

Via Rail said in a statement that it will open service between Ottawa and Toronto on Tuesday with seven trains running along the popular Ontario route. Service will also partially resume between Toronto and Montreal the same day.

Via’s service along the Toronto-Quebec City corridor was cancelled in the first week of February due to a rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville. The closures began as temporary but were maintained amid protests in solidarity with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation, who oppose the development of a natural gas pipeline project that crosses their traditional territory in northwestern British Columbia.

Via Rail began running a few trains between Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City two weeks ago; full service has since returned.

Protests broke out in Ottawa last week after police moved in to clear the Tyendinaga blockades, with Indigenous leaders condemning the use of force to disrupt the demonstration.

– With files from Canadian Press