Judge slaps injunction on pipeline protestors

Injunction granted one day before massive rally planned for Burnaby Saturday

One of the 15 protestors named in injunction, Mia Nessen, chained to a gate at Burnaby refinery, has been the subject of a previous injunction for anti-pipeline protests. | Envirowatch

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted an injunction against anti-pipeline protestors, one day before a massive protest rally is planned in Burnaby.

Environmental and First Nations groups are planning a rally against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Saturday March 10 that promises to be the biggest yet.

But the organizers may have to change their plans somewhat, since an injunction granted Friday, March 9 prevents anyone from getting within 50 metres of property owned by Kinder Morgan Canada (TSX:KML), which would include the Westridge Marine Terminal – where most of the recent blockades have taken place to date – and the Kinder Morgan tank farm at the end of Shellmont Street in Burnaby.

On Friday, Kinder Morgan sought a court injunction against 15 named protestors who have repeatedly blocked assess to the Westridge Marine Terminal to prevent workers from getting in and out of the site.

To date about several people have been arrested as a result of blockades of the Westridge Marine Terminal since November 2017. According to Kinder Morgan, the blockades at the Westridge Marine Terminal have continued "almost every day" since November 2017. And they have been successful in causing costly delays.

"Further and continued blockades carry with them the obvious risk of further construction-related delays that will cause significant harm to Trans Mountain and third parties (including safety-related risks to blockade participants and to others," the company states in court documents.

In addition to the 15 named defendants, Kinder Morgan also sought, and was granted, a Jane and John Doe injunction as well, which can extend to anyone participating in a blockade.

The injunction will not stop Saturday’s protest rally from going ahead, said Sven Biggs, a spokesperson for Stand.earth – one of several environmental activist groups involved in organizing the rally – although the route that was originally planned for a march may have to change.

“The rally is going ahead as planned,” Biggs said. “We’re negotiating with the police right now to decide whether or not we need to change the route of the march slightly, but everything else is happening exactly as planned.

“We’re going to make sure it’s a safe, family friendly event and do everything we can to avoid arrests.”

Organizers are busing in protestors from Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Washington State, and if everyone who signed pledges to attend show up, the rally could number 8,000, Briggs said.

Originally, the rally organizers planned to march up Lake City Way to Shellmont Street past Kinder Morgan’s tank farm and, finally, to Forest Grove Park.

“We’re just determining right now, talking to the RCMP and some other folks whether we’ll be able to march the group down Shellmont Street in front of Kinder Morgan’s facilities or we’re going to have to take another route,” Briggs said.

The 15 protestors named in the injunction, and their aliases, are: David Mivasair, Bina Salimath, Mia Nissen, Corey Skinner (aka Cory Skinner), Uni Urchin (aka Jean Escueta), Arthur Brociner (aka Artur Brociner), Kari Perrin, Yvon Raoul, Earle Peach, Sandra Ang, Reuben Garbanzo (aka Robert Abbess) Gordon Cornwall, Thomas Chan, Laurel Dykstra and Rudi Leibik (aka Ruth Leibik).