Protesters get eviction notice
Pipeline protesters camping on Burnaby Mountain say they’re gearing up for a legal battle after being slapped with an eviction and bylaw notice Wednesday and given three days to leave.
The City of Burnaby ordered the occupants of the “Camp Cloud” protest site at Underhill Avenue and Shellmont Street to immediately remove all structures, trailers and vehicles, as well as put out fires, tear down a shower and leash their dogs. Officials warned the protesters to cease their “unauthorized occupation and use” of city lands within 72 hours or face city action to remove the camp.
The protest camp started last November with a single trailer parked at Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal on Burrard Inlet, but was moved in December to the street outside the tank farm’s gates, where it has grown into dozens of tents, trailers and buildings, including a two-level wood structure.
Kwitsel Tatel, court monitor at the camp, dismissed the city order as “illegitimate” Wednesday and said protesters would stand their ground. They oppose the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which would twin an existing pipeline and increase oil tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet.
Kinder Morgan obtained a B.C. Supreme Court injunction in March to prevent protesters from interfering with its work. In May, Lambert Chu, Burnaby city manager, said the camp was protected by the injunction.
“Camp Cloud and the Tsleil-Waututh watch house are very clearly articulated in the court order issued by the Supreme Court that they are allowed to stay,” said Chu.
But on Wednesday, Chu said the situation has changed. Burnaby has been working for “many months” to bring the camp into compliance with city bylaws but now wants it gone, he said.
“We have not been able to get compliance and we have concerns about the spreading footprint of the camp,” he said.
Tatel said the protesters are gearing up for a court challenge against the eviction, starting with consultations with lawyers Wednesday.
“The RCMP are not to interfere with Camp Cloud by a B.C. Supreme Court order,” she said. “The pecking order is the Coast Salish, Canada, the province and then the municipalities.”
Tatel said the eviction notice is likely specifically targeting the twostorey building. But she believes Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan is making a mistake by turning against the protesters after being an opponent of the pipeline project.
“He’s losing sight of his anti-Kinder Morgan (stance),” she said.
Tatel said the protesters haven’t yet discussed specific plans for the Saturday deadline, including how to respond to removal by police, should it come to that.
Chu said the city had “no choice” when it ordered the eviction, but declined to comment specifically about how it would be enforced.