Majority of protestors arrested free of charges
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
Kinder Morgan sought to extend the injunction keeping protesters off of their Burnaby Mountain drilling sites on November 27. BC Supreme Court ruled that instead, Kinder Morgan was to leave Burnaby Mountain by December 1, and all those previously charged with “civil contempt” would be exempt.
Had the injunction been approved, protesters would have been forced away from the drilling sites until December 12.
Part of the decision to end the injunction and remove charges was based on the fact that wrongful arrests had been made due to a misunderstanding of location boundaries: “What’s happened thus far is that apparently people have been arrested on the basis of an order that refers to some other piece of property,” said Judge Austin Cullen.
Reportedly over 100 protesters had been arrested since the November 17 injunction by the RCMP.
Kinder Morgan had been approved to excavate Burnaby Mountain for the possibility of expanding their Trans Mountain pipeline.
While equipment has been removed and drilling sites have been dismantled, Ali Hounsell, a company spokesman, told CBC, “Ultimately, it is up to the NEB to determine whether we do meet the conditions, but we believe that with the information we have been able to gather that we have enough information to meet those requirements at this point,” said Hounsell.
Members of Kinder Morgan have repeatedly presented evidence suggesting the Burnaby Mountain area is stable enough to handle the pipeline the company is hoping to run through it. By excavating the area and drilling 200 metres into the ground, the company has collected samples of rock they deem capable of handling construction.
The National Energy Board has yet to approve of the pipeline based on the evidence shown.
There has been mass public opposition to the pipeline for the past several years, and concerns over the Burnaby Mountain drilling sites had been apparent since September.
Protestors had been showing up daily to the drilling sites, demanding Kinder Morgan leave the area. On November 23, environmental activist David Suzuki joined in the protests after two of his grandchildren had been arrested for protesting, once on November 20, and again on November 23.
Burnaby Mayor David Corrigan has also been vocally against the drilling sites and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Corrigan sent an open letter in October stating that the City of Burnaby was not in favour of the pipeline.