Controversy continues to swirl over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project in Burnaby.
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge said that those protesting the pipeline have made a deliberate effort to blockade two of the Burnaby work sites. Justice Kenneth Affleck eliminated the standard 10-minute pre-arrest threat and warned that he might extend the mandate to other work areas used by Kinder Morgan on the divisive project.
Affleck said that although he has sympathy for those wanting to express their opposition to the project, the evidence demonstrates that protesters are finding a way to circumvent his March 15 order which denied people the right to get within a buffer zone of five-meters within the project. The judge went on to say that although the people have a right to make their views known, they do not have the right to protest in a way that is blocking the lawful work of the pipeline workers.
Affleck also modified the written injunction order to detail exactly what police would say prior to arresting protesters, adding in verbiage to warn people that they may face charges should they continue to ignore the order. The amendment was fueled by testimony from Trans Mountain lawyer Maureen Killoran who said that protesters have been using a workaround to disobey the parameters of the injunction. Protesters have allegedly made plans to maximize the disruption at both the Burnaby Terminal as well as the Westridge Marine Terminal.
Killoran went on to describe how protesters work together to prevent trucks from entering the work sites by climbing on top of a tunnel making machine where it is kept in storage in Delta, B.C.
Protests began in earnest last November, resulting in dozens of arrests since then. Many of the arrested protesters have already pled guilty and paid fines or agreed to community service hours.
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.