Only in Canada would the shutdown of rail transportation by protesters spark fears of a surge in white supremacism and vigilantes.
It’s absolutely bizarre when you stop and think about it.
Here we are, after all, suffering economically at the hands of protesters who side with five Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs against the majority of their own people and the danger is that the protests might see a rise in white supremacists.
What provoked this fear?
Well, a group of residents here in Alberta dismantling a blockade that had been erected on a rail line outside of Edmonton.
Whoa. Scary stuff.
What’s truly scary is the impact the blockades on the national economy. It is costing us billions of dollars.
After all, the blockades could not have come at a worse time.
People need to understand that the rail lines have a finite capacity. They can only move so many trains at any given time. Cold weather sees shorter trains, slower speeds and more congestion. All this is happening at a time when farmers are moving grain to market.
It’s worth noting too that fully three quarters of the country’s manufacturing capacity is located in the eastern region. According to the Canadian Manufacturing and Exporters Association, $450 million of goods per days have been stranded as CN Rail canceled 500 trains.
The disruption to rail traffic is causing considerable damage to economy, with economists forecasting the blockade could shave nearly a half percentage point off this month’s economic output.
That’s billions of dollars.
So bad is the disruption that there are reports now the country’s three largest ports have tens of thousands of containers sitting immobilized.
And there are additional reports that Port of Vancouver has a total of 50 vessels last week at anchor waiting to be loaded.
It will take months upon months to clear the backlog.
Yet somehow the real threat is from frustrated citizens who cannot believe their elected representatives are powerless in the face of a handful of malcontents.
Is it any wonder so many of us have concluded Canada is broken?