Kinder Morgan starts drilling on Burnaby Mountain
Crews from Kinder Morgan started drilling on Burnaby Mountain Friday evening after a dramatic week that saw dozens of pipeline opponents arrested.
The company confirmed drilling started around 4:45 p.m. on one of two test holes it plans to collect core samples from in its ongoing bid to twin the existing Trans Mountain pipeline.
The work, which is expected to last up to 12 days, followed the arrests of eight more protesters on the mountain, bringing the total to 34.
Among them was Simon Fraser University professor Lynn Quarmby, who issued a statement saying she had no choice but to get arrested to highlight Canada's "seriously flawed" pipeline review process.
"Canadians deserve a government that will address climate change," said Quarmby. "The fact that people are not allowed to talk about climate change in the pipeline hearings is evidence that the process is broken and corrupt.”
Hours before Fridya's arrests, anti-pipeline protesters trying to halt Kinder Morgan's survey work held a press conference to say they've been subjected to “heavy-handed intimidation tactics” by the company and authorities.
Protesters also blocked the way of two Kinder Morgan trucks arriving at the mountain to begin survey work.
A total of 26 people were arrested Thursday after police moved in to enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction order compelling protesters to leave the area. Five people were put into custody, according to RCMP, and some protesters were released on the condition that they stay away from the site.
Trans Mountain staff and contractors returned to the mountain work site to resume survey work shortly after arrests began, and crews removed tents and garbage from the site overnight.
Kinder Morgan plans on drilling two six-inch test holes into Burnaby Mountain to take core samples, and has committed to “minimizing any impacts and restoring, or compensating, for any disturbance.”
The holes are approximately 250 metres deep.
Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson said Friday the company isn’t surprised by the resistance against its exploratory work in the conservation area.
“We had monitored it closely, talked to the community. We’re [in] close co-operation with the RCMP and their intelligence,” Anderson told the Business News Network.
Anderson denied that any of its approaches have been heavy-handed.
“We look to go in with kid gloves so to speak and try and calm the situation down for what will be seven or 10 days work.”
Groups opposing the project staged a press conference Friday morning to voice their concerns about the arrests, a lack of communication with Mounties and a project that would see increased oil tanker traffic on the B.C. coast.
Squamish Nation Chief Ian Campbell said Burnaby Mountain has sustained aboriginal people for thousands of years, and First Nations people will continue to oppose the project for the sake of future generations.
“The Squamish Nation does not consent to Kinder Morgan’s application for the willful destruction of this part of our territory,” Campbell told reporters.
“We will not allow this behavior to continue in our territories.”
Protester Tamo Campos, the grandson of David Suzuki, was among the protesters taken into custody.
Campos said people opposing the project will continue to “stand up to unjust laws.”
“Why are we putting our economic system – the market -- above the very ecology we all depend upon? We’re more dependent on clean water, fresh air and clean soil than the market. It’s the thing that keeps us alive,” he said.
Kinder Morgan equipment now working behind police lines on Burnaby Mountain. KM choppers at second site. pic.twitter.com/L2znQYxMIP— Jon Woodward (@ctv_jon) November 21, 2014
Lots of emotion on the police lines. Heard: "How do you hug your children at night when you have done this to them?" pic.twitter.com/5YAJht6usg— Jon Woodward (@ctv_jon) November 21, 2014
Half a dozen of about 150 protesters arrested for crossing police lines. Drum banging, chanting despite the rain. pic.twitter.com/FrIhdE9ohC— Jon Woodward (@ctv_jon) November 21, 2014