Trans Mountain protesters vow to keep up the pressure in the face of mounting legal risks

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      Opponents of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project have vowed to continue protests at company facilities in Burnaby despite a B.C. judge recently expanding an injunction that makes it easier for police to arrest them.

      "Protectors prepare today to risk arrest after challenging Kinder Morgan's injunction, newly expanded to require little notice to enforce," reads a June 11 media release issued by Protect the Inlet, an Indigenous initiative of Tsleil-Waututh members and their allies.

      "Punishment for breaching the injunction is now seven days in jail," it continues. "While Canada's Prime Minister has committed public funds to bailing out Kinder Morgan, he still needs to find a buyer. Protectors vow to keep up the resistance until the export-only diluted bitumen pipeline and tanker project is dead."

      On June 1, Justice Kenneth Affleck said that an injunction originally granted in March 2018 should be modified in response to protesters "calculated" efforts to circumvent the order. “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.

      The modified injunction 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.

      Demonstrations are planned for today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kinder Morgan's Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.

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

      In related news, a May 27 oil spill near Kamloops, B.C., is in the news for a second time because it's been revealed the spill's volume was significantly larger than originally reported.

      The spill at a Kinder Morgan pump station was initially described by B.C.'s ministry of environment as consisting of about 100 litres of crude oil. But now CBC News has reported that the actual size of the spill was about 4,800 litres of oil, according to the company.

      The incident saw oil leak into the ground but the ministry of environment said there was no contamination of any waterways.

      On May 29, Prime minister Justin Trudeau's government announced it intends to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline system, including the expansion of its pipeline through Burnaby. The estimated cost is $4.5 billion.

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