Burnaby bubble zone puts recreation sites under potential lockdown
March 12, 2018
Vancouver, B.C. – Friday, Justice Kenneth Affleck of the Supreme Court of B.C. granted an interim injunction as requested by oil pipeline company Kinder Morgan. Section F of the document creates a 50-metre buffer zone around the Westridge Marine Terminal and Burnaby Tank Farm.
This injunction puts anybody within 50 metres of Kinder Morgan's properties at-risk of arrest, placing common recreational sites such as trails, a soccer field, part of a golf course, even roads to Simon Fraser University and some homes in the Forest Grove neighbourhood within the no-go zone.
“If you sliced a drive on the 5th tee of the golf course and went to retrieve your ball you could technically be in contempt of court,” said Wilderness Committee Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney.
“This ruling essentially places a substantial swath of suburban Burnaby on lockdown so people can’t even walk near Kinder Morgan’s property — or heaven forbid — protest the company’s unpopular pipeline scheme without fear of arrest.”
After a few arrests last week, Kinder Morgan applied for an injunction to prevent anyone from disrupting its work. Opponents argue that existing laws regarding trespass and mischief already allow the police to arrest anyone impeding the company. Now with an injunction and the creation of a no-go buffer zone around company facilities, people out walking their dog for exercise or simply exercising their right to legal protest are put at risk of arrest.
“This injunction could technically impact many people simply going about their daily lives,” said McCartney.
“Of course it will mostly disrupt peaceful protesters who are simply exercising their right to gather and speak out against Kinder Morgan’s reckless pipeline and tanker project.”
This injunction will also hinder groups like the Wilderness Committee from doing their critical public education work to document construction impacts on local ecosystems as well as potential impacts on the ocean and climate should the project ever be built.
“We were out there every day last week taking photographs, gathering data and keeping people informed on the work Kinder Morgan is doing,” said McCartney.
“Now with this injunction, the company will be better able to hide behind this court-ordered wall of secrecy. It makes our work much tougher.”
For Immediate Release - March 12, 2018
For more information, please contact:
Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner, Wilderness Committee