By Roy L Hales
At least 127 people crossed the line and were arrested on Burnaby Mountain. All charges have been dropped against those at borehole #2, because the wrong GPS co-ordinates were used. It is not yet certain if the correct co-ordinates were given for borehole #1. Judge Austin Cullen refused to grant the pipeline company an extension to December 14. Trans Mountain’s injunction ends Monday.
“Apparently people have been arrested on the basis of an order that refers to some other property,” the Judge said. “The concern is that people have been arrested and subjected to restraints on their liberty.”
He invited Kinder Morgan’s lawyer to file an application to vacate the charges, which was done.
“We never wanted it to get to a point where people were being arrested,” said Trans Mountain spokeswoman Lizette Parsons Bell.
The coordinates for borehole #2 were so inaccurate that the actual worksite is said to have been outside the area covered by the injunction.
Hearing of the mix up with GPS co-ordinates, Torrance Coste of the Wilderness Committee remarked, ” These were GPS co-ordinates that had to be followed on land, during the day and this company couldn’t do it. Kinder Morgan couldn’t do it and we’re supposed to trust them to potentially clean up a bitumen spill in the water at night in a storm. There’s too much risk. with this project.”
“… We believe we have been able to obtain a sufficient level of information from geotechnical, geophysical and engineering studies already completed, including data gathered from the completed test holes, to meet the National Energy Board’s information requirements for the December 1 filing; however ultimately this will be up to the NEB to determine,” Trans Mountain wrote on its website. “We are currently reviewing our work plan and amending it to ensure we can remove our remaining equipment and crews from Burnaby Mountain by December 1, 2014”
Trans Mountain’s crews will be working 24 hours a day until their injunction ends.
Grand Chief Phillip Stewart, of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, was among those who crossed the line to be arrested at bore hole #1 today. One of the other protesters said he is suffering from shingles, but vowed he would go forward to be arrested.
Meanwhile in Victoria, Vancouver Island First Nations were making their oral presentations to the National Energy Board.
“Each nation was essentially given three hours to present all the reasons they oppose Kinder Morgan,” Coste said. “It is not adequate, but it was all they were given.”
“Sitting there and listening to the uses of the waters and the resources both historic and contemporary really paints a picture of the risk that a project like Kinder Morgan’s poses to them,” he added.
Coste attended three First Nations presentations so far. They were all opposed to the proposed pipeline. After describing the dangers tanker traffic presented to their traditional way of life, two of the Nations invited Kinder Morgan and the NEB to go fishing with them.”
“This is by no means an adequate process, said Coste. “Huge issues like Climate Change aren’t even taken into account in this review.”
As a result of the changes to Canada’s laws made through Omnibus Bill C-38, the NEB will only make a recommendation. The final decision will be made by Parliament.
(Image at top of page: Citizens Protest Against Kinder Morgan’s Oil Pipeline on Burnaby Mountain – Courtesy Mark Klotz, CC BY SA, 2.0)