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Air Canada vs. CN Rail

Mariah Gillis

Air Canada went from a government-run crown corporation participating in Conservative corruption scandals, to a private corporation paying influencers to encourage non-essential travel in the middle of a global pandemic. Would it shock you to know that they've been accused of fostering misogynist and ableist work environments?

On the other side, we have CN (Canadian National) Rail, which aside from giving Torontonians a tall building to feel special about, has also committed other crimes. 

Here's something wild: for all you ACAB'ers, how about we start by defunding the rail police?! WTF is the rail police you say? Oh, it's just private police services our two largest rail companies are allowed to use to investigate themselves...?! 

They were awarded an F by Amtrack for constantly delaying passenger trains, and as NUMTOTs, we will not stand for any anti-(passenger)train nonsense! Canadian Pacific got an A, so clearly it's not that hard for every Canadian rail corporation to not be shitty and share the tracks...

Ultimately though, it's impossible to divorce Canada's history of colonial bullshit from the railroad, and CN might be one of the best corporate symbols of Canadian colonialism (next to Hudson's Bay, which is coming up soon!). We often hear this maple syrup-tinged Canadiana history of the railroads that says something about how the last spike cemented the union of our great nation yada yada yada... But the reality is that railroads were a vector for colonial violence, and they continue to bring environmental disaster to and through Indigenous lands, in addition to being the lifeblood of our capitalist economy. So next time you see an Indigenous rail blockade, remember that it's about a lot more than whatever you see on the news that day.


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