Burnaby Mountain protest numbers dwindle as Kinder moves in heavy equipment

After more than two dozen arrests on Thursday, protester numbers dwindled at Burnaby Mountain. Kinder Morgan spent the whole night moving heavy equipment into the site east of Vancouver for its surveyors.

Public vehicle access to the area at the bottom of Centennial Way is still blocked by police. However, a small number of protesters are still at the site, and appear to be tolerated by the RCMP.

A judge had warned protesters last Friday that an injunction ordered them to vacate the area by Monday. When the deadline passed they were still there. On Thursday morning at 8 a.m. the police went in and throughout the day removed and arrested protesters.

Later on Thursday, all but ten of them were released. According to the police, many of the people arrested were cited for civil contempt and released on condition they did not interfere, impede or obstruct survey crews.

The dismantling of the protesters’ camp will be left to Kinder Morgan, RCMP said.

CBC News quoted protester Jeff Wang, who is originally from Shanghai, who questioned why in a country that lectures China on human rights were the authorities arresting people. “This is a democracy? It’s ridiculous,” he said.

Canadian Manufacturing quoted somebody who identified himself as ‘Mike’ who said he was processed at a nearby golf course and then allowed to go as long as he did not return to the protest site. Mike added “But I’m not following that. Someone needs to take part in action. The more people that care about the issues, the more we can affect change.”

Burnaby Mountain

Kinder Morgan wants the pipeline to go under this mountain (Burnaby Mountain). Local residents are concerned about the environmental risks.

Kinder Morgan said it is working within the law regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal. The courts have ruled that its surveyors have the right to carry out geotechnical studies on the mountain. The company says it intends to proceed.

Kinder Morgan proposes boring a tunnel under the mountain, which is in a conservation area, to reroute and extend its Trans Mountain Pipeline.

In a statement on Thursday, Kinder Morgan said:

“The remaining studies are an important part of providing detailed design input into what we consider is the best and least disruptive route through Burnaby. Trans Mountain is committed to completing the work.”

“The studies require drilling two six-inch test holes, approximately 250 meters in depth, in order to take core samples at two locations on Burnaby Mountain. When the studies are undertaken, Trans Mountain is committed to minimizing any impacts and restoring, or compensating, for any disturbance to Burnaby Mountain.”

Pipeline opponents are concerned that the extension could raise the risk of a devastating spill because of the increased oil volume that would go through the pipeline, plus the extra tanker traffic that would be coming in and out of Vancouver’s harbor.

Video – Arrests on Burnaby Mountain