Citizens of War Lake First Nations are planning to protest Via Rail due to not being able to purchase train tickets, as well as apparent inconsistency in the enforcement of COVID-19 measures.
In a press release issued by MKO, Chief Betsy Kennedy says residents of War Lake were instructed to wear masks while travelling on Via Rail, but says they witnessed non-indigenous tourists being allowed to travel on the train without a mask.
Kennedy outlined the community’s second concern, which War Lake residents are unable to purchase train tickets to Ilford with the rail line due to them being sold to tourists going up to Churchill.
She explains that citizens rely on the train for essential travel, and Via Rail should set aside some tickets for residents living in northern communities.
MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee says he reached out to the CEO and President Via Rail to look into these concerns, and adds that plans to block the tracks heading to northern Manitoba will go through if War Lake residents don’t get an adequate response.
Via Rail says they’re sensitive and understand the nature of the concerns raised, and add they are working to find and quickly implement the best solution for all communities.