Citizen Action Monitor

Dozens defy court injunction, stage protest at Kinder Morgan construction zone – RCMP make arrests  

 PM Trudeau underestimated strong opposition to the project, claims Cree Nation member Clayton Thomas-Müller.

No 2183 Posted by fw, March 18, 2018

Dylan Waisman

“Burnaby RCMP started arrests after dozens of people staged a sit-in protest Burnaby Mountain on Saturday, violating a court injunction to stay away from Texas-based Kinder Morgan’s construction activities on Burnaby Mountain in the Greater Vancouver Region. … Some were arrested, and brought to a processing centre near the blockade site, where they were released after agreeing to appear in court for the injunction violation. … Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was approved by the federal government in November 2016, but is opposed by the current NDP government in B.C., and has faced a court challenge from six First Nations, the City of Vancouver and City of Burnaby.”Dylan Waisman, National Observer

Dylan Sunshine Waisman received her master’s degree in European law in 2017 and studied European and Human Rights Law at Nottingham Trent University.

Two thumbs way up for the National Observer’s continuing excellent, timely coverage of West Coast news related to the controversy over Trudeau’s futile efforts to keep his oilsands’ expansion pipe dreams alive.

Below is a slightly abridged repost of Dylan Waisman’s account of the protest, excluding her short video interview of a protester. Links to related KM stories by Waisman appear at the end of this post. Alternatively, read her full report, including the video clip, on the National Observer’s website by clicking on the following linked title.

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Burnaby RCMP arrest protesters for violating Kinder Morgan injunction by Dylan Waisman, National Observer, March 17, 2018

#10 of 10 articles from the Special Report: Kinder Morgan

Burnaby RCMP started arrests after dozens of people staged a sit-in protest Burnaby Mountain on Saturday, violating a court injunction to stay away from Texas-based Kinder Morgan’s construction activities on Burnaby Mountain in the Greater Vancouver Region.

Around 30 people walked into the five-metre exclusion zone near Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal, while a crowd of supporters held signs to protest the company’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion. The demonstration took place on Saturday morning, one week after a mass rally that drew thousands of people on Burnaby Mountain to oppose the pipeline expansion.

Some were arrested, and brought to a processing centre near the blockade site, where they were released after agreeing to appear in court for the injunction violation. In 2014, around 100 people protesting Kinder Morgan were arrested, many of them staying for hours in jail before being released, but the demonstrators today were allowed to walk away after processing.

“We need more people standing on the front lines,” said Angelina Rose, a UBC student at the protest, in a news release. “As a person of mixed Indigenous and settler history, I owe it to my Ancestors, my future grandchildren and Coast Salish nations to stand with them in this fight.”

“When it comes to our operations and construction sites, safety is our first priority – safety of our workers, communities and everyone near our facilities. And to that end, we will make every effort to ensure we can carry out our work and operations safely,” Kinder Morgan said in an email to National Observer.

“We respect the right to peacefully protest and there are many ways to express opinions in a safe and lawful manner. The RCMP were notified when several individuals attached themselves to the gate of Burnaby Terminal, blocking emergency access to our facilities and employees onsite in contravention of a court order.”

Earlier in the day, local resident Walter Hardy told National Observer he was there to support the protest because he believed a large increase in the transport of diluted bitumen — one of the petroleum products in the Trans Mountain pipeline — was bad for British Columbia.

“My emotional response to this is that the risk of a tanker spill in Burrard Inlet is just unimaginable for many, many reasons,” Hardy said. “There’s marine life, and Indigenous fishing…but the worst is [in the event of a spill], Vancouver will drop multi-billions of dollars, and it would be a complete disaster. This pipeline is just not necessary. I consider that Alberta has not used their resources wisely. With (late Alberta premier) Peter Lougheed, they had a system in place….but [Alberta] shouldn’t be foisting this on people who don’t want it.”

Clayton Thomas-Müller, a Mathias Colomb Cree Nation member from Manitoba and campaigner with environmental group 350.org, said he was willing to be arrested to oppose this project.

“We have the right to protest,” Thomas-Müller said, while sitting in front of the fence, which they’d covered with a protest banner. “If the RCMP decide to enforce the injunction, that’s entirely on them…We’re here to make our opinions known.”

Thomas-Müller said Prime Minister Trudeau was underestimating the strong opposition to the project, which included the City of Burnaby, the City of Vancouver, and 150 First Nations.

“We’ve already seen with Northern Gateway pipeline that federal approval doesn’t mean anything in the face of social movements…Justin Trudeau’s going to get a similar lesson,” he said. “Government approvals mean nothing. It’s communities that grant consent.”

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was approved by the federal government in November 2016, but is opposed by the current NDP government in B.C., and has faced a court challenge from six First Nations, the City of Vancouver and City of Burnaby.

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

If built, the Trans Mountain expansion would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline network, allowing it to carry up to 890,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta, home to the world’s third largest reserves of oil after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, to the west coast.

Supporters of the project say it will promote jobs and growth in the oilpatch, while its detractors say it will lead to spills and push Canada’s climate change goals out of reach. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview with National Observer last month that his government had approved the Trans Mountain pipeline as a ‘trade off’ to win Alberta’s cooperation on climate policies including a carbon tax.

Although the project has been described as a “twinning” of an existing pipeline, part of the expansion would include a different route through the Rocky Mountains to the coast.

Kinder Morgan and the Burnaby RCMP were reached for comment, but did not respond in time for publication.

See National Observer’s Facebook page for live videos and further coverage on this issue.

RELATED

B.C. judge protects ‘Watch House’ but issues permanent injunction to stop disruptive Kinder Morgan protests By Dylan Waisman National Observer, March 15th 2018 — B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck has granted an injunction to protect Kinder Morgan’s construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but he also agreed to protect a new “Watch House” set up to keep an eye on the Texas multinational energy company.

Kinder Morgan lawyer explains company doesn’t want protesters to get hurt By Dylan Waisman National Observer, March 14th 2018 — The audience at a B.C. Supreme Court hearing burst into laughter on Wednesday after a lawyer for Texas-based multinational energy company Kinder Morgan said that its new pipeline expansion project was “in the best interest of Canada.”

Kinder Morgan wants money from anyone who gets in the way of Trans Mountain expansion By Dylan Waisman National Observer, March 13th 2018 — The Canadian division of Texas-multinational energy company Kinder Morgan is seeking to get some money from anyone who gets in the way of its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, the company indicated in legal papers to be reviewed on Wednesday by B.C.’s Supreme Court.

Thousands rally against Kinder Morgan after court injunction By Dylan Waisman National Observer, March 10th 2018 — The air was crisp and cold as they trekked up Burnaby Mountain early on Saturday morning. People’s breath came out in white puffs as each of the volunteer construction workers each carried two planks of wood. Their goal was to build a traditional Indigenous “watch house” to monitor Texas-based Kinder Morgan as it proceeds with construction of its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Indigenous leaders, Kinder Morgan draw battle lines on eve of mass protest By Dylan Waisman National Observer, March 9th 2018 — On the eve of a mass protest, Indigenous leaders and activists from across Canada vowed to do whatever it takes to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.

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