Tuesday’s announcement by the federal government that it has granted conditional approval for the Kinder Morgan company to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline to carry bitumen from Northern Alberta to the Westridge terminal in North Burnaby brought back memories of covering weeks of protests against the project in 2014.
Opponents of the project include First Nations, environmentalists, academics and local politicians.
In late October-November, 2014, these disparate voices gathered at Burnaby Mountain to draw a line in the sand around a drilling project by a survey company to take soil samples in anticipation of the pipeline’s construction through the mountain.
What started as peaceful community rallies soon escalated to an encampment to court injunctions to mass arrests. By the time the protest camp was dismantled by the RCMP, hundreds of protesters, including prominent First Nations’ leaders, had been arrested.
Opponents of the project have vowed to muster their forces anew, with even greater vigour, now that it has been given the go-ahead.
This look back at those weeks of rallies and protest on Burnaby Mountain may be a portent of events to come.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Pipeline protesters, including two children, set up a picnic at the edge of the injunction zone on Saturday.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Three days of heavy rain have turned the hillside just outside the injunction zone on Centennial Way into a muddy bog.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER A protestor at the anti-pipeline encampment on Burnaby Mountain wraps himself in a blanket to keep out the morning cold on Tuesday. The camp, has been built up for months along Centennial Way to prevent survey crews from Kinder Morgan from completing geotechnical studies to determine if the company can bore its planned pipeline expansion through the mountain. But on Friday a BC Supreme Court judge granted the company an injunction to remove the protestors by 4 p.m. Monday.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER A lone protester keeps vigil on the hillside across from the Kinder Morgan worksite on Centennial Way on Monday.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Singer Holly Arntzen performs at a rally held Saturday on Burnaby Mountain for protestors of the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Burnaby RCMP keep a watch over protestors on Burnaby Mountain awaiting the arrival of surveying crews from the Kinder Morgan pipeline company on Wednesday.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Protestors hike through the woods on the side of Burnaby Mountain to one of Kinder Morgan’s two bore hole sites in hopes of preventing surveying crews from the pipeline company from doing their work.
MARIO BARTEL/BLACK PRESS Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the president of the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs, is escorted away by RCMP after he crossed into the injunction area around Kinder Morgan’s remaining active borehole on Burnaby Mountain Thursday morning. He was one of 23 people arrested Thursday to bring the total number of protesters arrested for defying a court injunction protecting the worksites to 125.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER A protester is led away by police after crossing into the injunction zone on Centennial Way on Saturday.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Protesters march up Centennial Way to the injunction zone protecting survey crews from Kinder Morgan drilling soil and rock samples on Burnaby Mountain. The procession from Burnaby Mountain Parkway has become a daily routine since Burnaby RCMP began enforcing a court injunction on Thursday that came into effect last Monday.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Protestor George Khossil wedges himself under a vehicle on Ridgeview Drive as a member of Kinder Morgan’s survey crew returns equipment to the back seat. The crew was chased from beginning its geotechnical surveying work at one of two bore holes on Burnaby Mountain Wednesday morning by protestors.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER An anti-pipeline protester yells at police at the line signifying the injunction area on Centennial Way on Saturday. Another 16 protesters were arrested after a march to the Kinder Morgan work site, bringing the three-day total to 53 arrests.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Anti-pipeline protesters celebrate their “victory” at a rally Saturday for First Nations and Indigenous supporters of the weeks-long effort to prevent Kinder Morgan from completing its geotechnical survey work on Burnaby Mountain. The company removed its equipment from the mountain on Friday after it lost a request to extend its injunction protecting its worksites to Dec. 12.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Sinclair Brown keeps a very soggy vigil outside the Kinder Morgan work area on Centennial Way on Monday.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER Sqamish elder Sut’Lut is escorted into the injunction zone by Burnaby RCMP so she can tend to the sacred fire that has been allowed to burn near the Kinder Morgan worksite on Burnaby Mountain.
MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER A protestor who only wanted to be called Earl leads a sing-a-long at an encampment along Discovery Way on Wednesday. The protestors are hoping to prevent surveying crews from the Kinder Morgan pipeline company from doing their work to determine if an expanded Trans-Mountain pipeline can be drilled through the mountain.