Judge modifies injunction in response to pipeline opponents' continued protests at Kinder Morgan facilities

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      A B.C. judge has expanded an injunction that's been applied against opponents of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.

      Protesters were previously barred from demonstrating within five metres of Kinder Morgan's facility on Burnaby Mountain. If anyone violated that buffer area, which was first outlined in an injunction issued on March 15, police officers were instructed to give a 10-minute warning, after which time they could make an arrest.

      On Friday (June 1), Justice Kenneth Affleck said that the injunction should be modified in response to protesters "calculated" efforts to circumvent the order. He accepted evidence provided by investigators working for Kinder Morgan that showed that opponents of the pipeline were "tag teaming" to get around the 10-minute warnings that police were giving ahead of arresting anyone.

      “In my view, the clear attempt to frustrate the injunction is not acceptable and there needs to be a means by this court to determine that its orders are respected,” the judge wrote, according to the Canadian Press.

      “They have a right to make their views known in a way that captures the attention of the world, if they wish to do so, but they are not entitled to block what is lawful activity.”

      The modified injunction now stipulates that police no longer have to issue a 10-minute warning ahead of an arrest. The judge also expanded the injunction beyond Kinder Morgan's property on Burnaby Mountain to apply to other sites in the Lower Mainland that are owned by the company.

      More than 200 people have been arrested at various demonstrations against the pipeline-expansion project since the start of this year.

      On Saturday (June 2), more than 100 people gathered outside Kinder Morgan's property at the foot of Burnaby Mountain to protest the Trudeau government's recent decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline system, including the expansion of its pipeline through Burnaby.

      “As we gather here today on the front lines, people are organizing in 75 cities across Canada to show their MPs the widespread opposition to this pipeline," Stand.Earth deputy director Tzeporah Berman said at that event, according to a Protect the Inlet media release. "People feel betrayed by the Trudeau government’s decision to use billions of taxpayers’ dollars and ignore Indigenous rights, community safety and the climate."

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