As protests against Kinder Morgan’s pipeline project in Burnaby continue, so do the arrests.
On Thursday alone, Burnaby RCMP arrested 18 protesters in the 8000-block of Shellmont Street, for breaching a court-ordered injunction which stated that they could not obstruct, impede or otherwise prevent access to Trans Mountain Facilities.
“These demonstrators were provided a copy of the injunction and given an opportunity to leave,” said Burnaby RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet. “Despite being asked a number of times to leave, these demonstrators failed to do so and were arrested.”
Each of the demonstrators have since been released and all are due to appear in court over the coming weeks.
On Friday, Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was also arrested for breaching the injunction.
Shoihet said police are reminding people that while they have a right to lawful, peaceful and safe protest, “the companies have a right to complete their work.”
She added that police are working hard to “ensure that these rights are respected and everyone is kept safe.”
The Police Enforcement Clause recognize the RCMP’s discretion to decide how and when to enforce the injunction. The Court issues the order, and then the police determine how to implement it.
The primary concerns of the police, Shoihet said, is public safety, officer safety, and preservation of the rights of demonstrators guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
RCMP will continue to monitor the situation and take action on a case by case basis, with a focus on enforcement “should there be any criminal activities that pose a threat to the safety of individuals or property.”