Protesters on Burnaby Mountain Arrested

B. McPherson
You can't drink or breathe oil. Stop the pipeline
The standoff between BigOil and environmentalists continues on Burnaby Mountain. Pipeline company KinderMorgan wants to triple its petroleum carrying capacity to bring Alberta oil to the Pacific coast for shipping to the US and overseas. They have not received the go-ahead from the Canadian Energy Board, but they have done preliminary work to map a new route for the proposed pipelines.

Part of that route would take them under Burnaby Mountain, much of which is dedicated parkland. The survey crews have been blocked from cutting more trees in the park by protesters. Some would call them protectors depending on one’s point of view.

KinderMorgan obtained an injunction to remove the protesters who were blocking the route. This served to increase the number of people joining in the movement. Police were moved in to remove the people. Peaceful, non-violent arrests were made. To date over 100 people have allowed themselves to be arrested rather than move out of the way. Under the terms of the court order an exclusion zone was established.

Early on when the arrests were being made, some said that the court order was vague and lacked proper GPS coordinates. This morning the Civil Liberties Union Association has asserted that the RCMP may have acted beyond the law in arresting people who were outside the zone described in the court order. KinderMorgan is back in court seeking to expand its exclusion zone.

As this issue has heated up, mayors of both Vancouver and Burnaby have been vocal in their opposition to the pipeline expansion. David Sukuzi made an appearance to bolster spirits and now veterans of the Clayquot Sound anti-logging group joined the Burnaby Mountain occupation to add support. Clayquot Sound old growth forest was eventually saved from logging, but only after over 900 people were arrested. The oldest person arrested today was 87 Jean McLaren, one of the veterans.

KinderMorgan is a Houston based company. When interviewed in May of this year they issued this statement:

Trans Mountain has not made any assessment if it is possible or practical to transport expanded volumes,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement Tuesday.  Financial Post May 27, 2014

While changes can happen rapidly in industry, the planning of high pressure pipelines with a total diameter capacity of over three metres(approx. 3.5yards) takes careful planning. In December 2013 the company commissioned a detailed environmental plan for the building of the pipelines. It is available on the Net and makes for interesting reading. Following is a snippet from the report:

The construction right-of-way will typically be 45 m wide, including an approximately 18 m widepermanent easement. The remainder of the construction right-of-way width will be used as temporaryworkspace. ….
Temporary Workspace: Additional temporary workspace will be necessary at select locations to accommodate constructionactivities (e.g., road, rail, buried utility line and water crossings; sharp sidebends; tie-ins; and locations

Opinion The people of British Columbia are being asked by foreign owned corporations to bear the risks and environmental degradation that these high pressure pipelines cause. The petroleum products are not destined for Canadians, they are destined for off shore use and to increase the profits of foreign owned corporations.

Financial Post                  

CBC News                        


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