Calls for calm after Quebec premier claims there are dangerous assault rifles in Kahnawake

First Nations leaders and Quebec politicians and their federal counterparts are urging calm after Quebec Premier François Legault claimed there are dangerous assault rifles in Kahnawake as a rail blockade continues.

Joël Lightbound, parliamentary secretary to Canada’s minister of public safety, was among those who called for dialogue on Thursday morning in Ottawa.

“I will not comment on the specific declaration of Mr. Legault but I think that it is necessary to appeal to the whole political class, whatever the level of government, to calm down,” he said.

Tensions are running high after Legault said on Wednesday that he had “good sources” who informed the provincial government that there are “very dangerous guns” such as AK-47s in Kahnawake.

The premier alleged that provincial police are being cautious in dismantling the blockade for that reason after Canadian Pacific Rail obtained an injunction to clear railways across Quebec.

The railway blockade, which began on Feb. 10, has obstructed commuter and freight traffic through the Mohawk territory located south of Montreal. The protest is in solidarity with hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia who oppose the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline through their territory.

Quebec MNA Ian Lafrenière, parliamentary assistant to the minister of public security, told Global News that Legault “never mentioned that people were armed at the barricade” but that “they could have access to guns.”

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