Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Immigrants In Canada 'Forced To Live' Near Active Train Tracks

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Immigrants In Canada 'Forced To Live' Near Active Train Tracks Lagos, Nigeria

Does a video on social media show immigrants in Canada "forced" to live near busy train tracks in Toronto? No, that's not true: This video was shot in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, and gained traction online during February 2024. A Nigerian government official responded to this video, which showed traders selling goods alongside a track as a train rushes close by, by reportedly clearing the traders from the train tracks. The undated scene is tens of thousands of miles from Toronto.

The claim appeared on X, formerly Twitter (archived here), on February 17, 2024. The caption read:

With no place to live, Trudeau's immigrants are forced to live near the GO Train in Toronto😉

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

image (68).png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Feb 20 15:29:57 2024 UTC)

The video in the post shows people seated on a train track as a train speeds by. Surrounding them are fabrics and unidentifiable red produce. The creator of this post did not mention when or where, specifically, in Toronto this video supposedly was shot.

A "GO Train" (archived here) is a division of Canada's Metrolinx (archived here) agency. Lead Stories found a photo of a GO Train and compared it to the train seen in the claim:

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 12.52.35 PM.png

(Source: niagarapark.com screenshot taken on Tue Feb 20 16:54:19 2024 UTC)

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 12.55.03 PM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Feb 20 16:56:48 2024 UTC)

The train in the X post does not have the GO Train logo on the front, and the two are different colors as well. A Google News search of "green yellow white train AND tracks AND people sitting on train tracks" (archived here) led us to a 2020 Aljazeera article on Nigeria's railway (archived here). The trains pictured in the article looked very similar to the train in the claim post:

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 2.07.30 PM.png

(Source: Aljazeera.com screenshot taken on Tue Feb 20 18:08:26 2024 UTC)

The train seen in the Aljazeera article and the one seen in the X claim both had the same colors and the green and yellow stripes along the side.

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 2.12.09 PM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Feb 20 18:14:47 2024 UTC)

We then searched "Nigeria AND people selling items on train tracks" (archived here) on Google News and found a February 14, 2024, article from Yaba Left Online (archived here), a Nigerian entertainment, music and news site, about the video in the X post. According to the article, the video starting gaining traction on February 12, 2024. The article did not specify when the video was shot or why the creator filmed it. The article mainly reports on how Nigerian's commissioner for environment and water resources, Tokunbo Wahab (archived here), responded to this video going viral online. On February 13, 2024, Wahab posted on X:

In response to the trending video of traders selling wares on rail lines, the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water through the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (KAI), this morning, begin immediate and sustained enforcement and clearing of the rail tracks.

#ZeroToleranceLagos #CleanerLagos

@followlasg @jidesanwoolu @LAGESCOfficial @LasgMOE

The post can be seen here:

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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