Jazz musician, illustrator sent to jail for Trans Mountain pipeline protest

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      Two opponents of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project have been sentenced to jail.

      Jazz musician Noah Gotfrit and illustrator Cynthia Nugent will each serve 14 days in prison.

      Gotfrit, 23, and Nugent, 64, pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of court for breaching an injunction prohibiting protests at pipeline facilities.

      The $9.3-billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion would triple oil shipments from Alberta to Burnaby to 890,000 barrels per day.

      The project would also result in a nearly seven-fold increase in oil-tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet.

      In 2018, the federal Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau bought the Trans Mountain pipeline system from U.S. energy company Kinder Morgan for $4.4 billion.

      Gotfrit and Nugent were sentenced by B.C. Supreme Court judge Kenneth Affleck last Monday (February 4).

      In Affleck’s oral reasons for the verdict posted online Wednesday (February 6), Gotfrit is described as someone who “resides with his parents and attends school”.

      “He is a musician and has lived in New Orleans on at least two occasions where he has worked as a musician,” according to the document. “He holds both Canadian and American citizenship. One of his goals is to obtain a bachelor's degree in music.”

      For her part, Nugent is referred to as a member of the faculty of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

      “She is a freelance illustrator of considerable distinction and has been frequently published,” according to the oral reasons for sentence.

      Gotfrit and Nugent were arrested by RCMP officers on separate days in August 2018 at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.

      It was days after their arrest in the same month that Kinder Morgan announced its sale of Trans Mountain to the Trudeau government.