Burnaby protests could get 'ugly', says Trans Mountain opponent

Opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are threatening to make things “ugly” in Burnaby in an effort to stop the project.

The battle against the pipeline expansion suffered a devastating legal blow at the Federal Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

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Tsleil-Waututh Nation member Will George says activists will be scheduling meetings in the next few days to plan future actions and "if it has to get ugly, it will get ugly."

George says he expects more protesters to gather at existing demonstration sites in British Columbia, including the "watch house" outside the Burnaby Mountain tank farm, plus a collection of tiny homes in the Interior.Squamish Nation Coun. Khelsilem says there are a number of people willing to defend the province's coast and the lengthy battle at the Federal Court has delayed a confrontation on the ground.

Protests at the tank farm and Burnaby’s Westridge Marine Terminal have slowed down significantly since summer 2019, with the weather getting worse and jail sentences getting longer for breaching a court injunction.

Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal sided with the federal government against four Indigenous communities that sought to block the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

In a decision published Tuesday morning, the Federal Court of Appeal found that the Indigenous communities failed to argue the federal government’s renewed consultation process was insufficient.

Several communities had applied for judicial review of the consultation process, but only six were allowed to proceed, and two later rescinded their applications. That left the Tsleil-Waututh of the North Shore, a Chilliwack-area group collectively referred to as Ts’elxwéyeqw, the Squamish Nation and the Coldwater Indian Band.

“The case law is clear that although Indigenous peoples can assert their uncompromising opposition to a project, they cannot tactically use the consultation process as a means to try to veto it,” the court wrote.

- With files from Dustin Godfrey, plus the Canadian Press

 

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