Kinder Morgan begins drilling, as Burnaby Mountain protesters arrested
Environmental advocate AJ Klein told The Vancouver Observer that protesters are refusing to leave the sacred fire at borehole one, where Kinder Morgan is looking to do geotechnical drill studies for a possible underground tunnel for the last leg of its proposed Edmonton-to-Burnaby bitumen oil pipeline.
"The cops were a little aggressive in the first few arrests," activist Maryam Adrangi with Rising Tide said. "People were taken periodically." She said members of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, and Squamish Nations were expected to join people on Burnaby Mountain, and that NDP MP Kennedy Stewart was to make a statement within half an hour.
The pathway to Burnaby Mountain is now blocked off by police, and no vehicle traffic is allowed. People going to the Mountain by foot, however, are still allowed access.
Brigette DePape, a former Senate page who first came to public attention when she held up a "Stop Harper" sign in Parliament in 2011, is among the six protesters at the sacred fire.
According to the Burnaby Mountain Updates Facebook page, there is a public rally on the other side of the police line, and 30-40 people are there.
Alan Dutton, a member of Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan (BROKE) said he was "completely shocked" that the RCMP moved in today, given that Burnaby's appeal to overturn the NEB's decision to let Kinder Morgan access the mountain just went to court yesterday (a decision is expected tomorrow or next week). Dutton is one of the civilians who Kinder Morgan has named in its multi-million dollar lawsuit as well.
"If the judge rules in favour of Burnaby, Kinder Morgan will have to stop all work on the Mountain," Dutton said. "We're also looking forward to an application before the federal court of appeal. The NEB chose to ignore Burnaby bylaws."
Meanwhile, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan told the Vancouver Observer in an earlier interview that he thanks citizens for their "courage" in standing up against Kinder Morgan but cautioned them against breaking the law.
He asked people to "have faith" in the city's legal battle against the pipeline company -- the City of Burnaby's lawyer was in the B.C. Court of Appeals on Wednesday, arguing for a reversal of a decision against a Kinder Morgan injunction. Corrigan added that he was fighting for cities all across Canada contending with unwanted oil pipelines.
"My advice is very clear and very firm,” said Mayor Corrigan. “Don't break the law."
A livestream video from borehole one, set up by activists on site, is viewable here.
More updates to come from reporter Mychaylo Prystupa, currently on site.