Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24 weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

Ron Plain, left, spokesperson for the First Nations protesters meets with them to make plans to end the blockade of the CN tracks in Sarnia, Ont., on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, after a court injunction to have them move was issued last week. The protest, part of the Idle No More movement, has blocked the tracks for 13 days.

Geoff Robins/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A First Nations protester is facing a bill of more than $16,000 in damages to CN Rail over a rail blockade in southwestern Ontario last winter as part of "Idle No More" protests.

An Ontario Superior Court judge ordered Ron Plain, 51, of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, to pay the damages in a decision released Tuesday.

Mr. Plain was accused of ignoring a court injunction to stop involvement in a 13-day blockade of the railway near Sarnia, Ont., over the New Year in support of a hunger protest by Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation.

Story continues below advertisement

"This was a brief, yet flagrant, breach of a court order in a peaceful protest which caused no property damage," Justice Bruce G. Thomas said in his ruling.

CN Rail was seeking $50,000 in financial compensation for the blockade, but says it's happy with the amount awarded.

"CN is pleased that the ruling underscores the importance of the principle that everyone must abide by the rule of law," said spokesman Jim Feeny.

The company had said they would commit the money to their aboriginal scholarship fund. They will now discuss the proposal with the local First Nations community, Mr. Feeny said.

Mr. Plain's lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, had asked the judge to limit the damages to $1,000, due to his part in persuading protesters to end the blockade on Jan. 2 and his limited financial means.

Mr. Plain was recently employed as an environmental policy analyst but is currently off work with a neck injury, the decision said.

Mr. Rosenthal declined to comment on the decision.

Story continues below advertisement

A campaign to raise money for Mr. Plain's legal fees on the website Indiegogo brought in under $5,000, about half of his fundraising goal.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies