Activist scales tree at Trans Mountain terminal to protest pipeline project
An anti-pipeline activist scaled a tree at Trans Mountain's Westridge Marine Terminal on Monday, April 29, 2019.
Published Monday, April 29, 2019 8:26AM PDT
A 71-year-old anti-pipeline activist has climbed a tree at Trans Mountain’s Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, and organizers say he is prepared to stay for a week if necessary.
Terry Christenson, who has a climbing background, began scaling the tree around 4 a.m. Monday after planning the protest for more than a month.
Supporters say the tree was chosen because there is a device placed high in the branches meant to deter eagles from nesting in areas they have in the past. They believe it’s a move by Trans Mountain to speed up construction if they get the go-ahead to move ahead with work on the line, which would twin the existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby.
"If there are eagles nesting here they can’t begin construction work," said Sven Biggs of the environmental group Stand.earth. "They want to make sure they move ahead as soon as they get their permits."
The Trans Mountain project has been in limbo since last August after a ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal, and the federal government said last week it cannot guarantee it will have a decision on the project by this fall, despite purchasing the project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.
Christenson’s protest in Burnaby is violating an injunction, but supporters say he is prepared to stay for up to a week.
"He’s expecting this will end in an arrest and jail time and he’s willing to spend time in jail to make this point," Biggs said.
There was no sign of police or additional security at Westridge terminal on Monday morning.