Canadian PM calls off diplomatic visit to Caribbean

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancelled a trip to Barbados scheduled for Monday as Indigenous demonstrators and their supporters continue to halt train service across parts of the country.

Trudeau planned to bring his pitch for a UN Security Council seat to a two-day gathering of leaders from across what is known as the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, but will send Foreign Affairs Minister Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne instead.

“Following the government’s ongoing efforts to address infrastructure disruptions across the country, the prime minister will convene the Incident Response Group tomorrow to discuss steps forward,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. The IRG is a group of cabinet members and high-level officials the prime minister leans on in times of crisis.

“Our priority remains the safety and security of all Canadians and the swift resolution of this issue to restore service across the rail system in accordance with the law,” the statement said.

Trudeau returned to Canada late Friday after spending a week in Ethiopia, Kuwait, Senegal and Germany and spent the weekend in private meetings, according to his public schedule.

The decision comes amid mounting pressure from business leaders and politicians who want the government to take more of an active role in resolving the crisis, which some say is damaging the economy and could lead to shortages of propane and other consumer goods.

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