A sign warms of an underground pipeline as people construct a “watch house” near a gate leading to Kinder Morgan’s property during a protest against the company’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday March 10, 2018. Protesters must be restrained from obstructing the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, says a British Columbia Supreme Court judge who has granted the company an injunction aimed at preventing people from entering within five metres of two work sites. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Trans Mountain granted injunction against pipeline protesters at two B.C. sites

Protesters must be restrained from obstructing the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, says a British Columbia Supreme Court judge

Protesters must be restrained from obstructing the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, says a British Columbia Supreme Court judge who has granted the company an injunction aimed at preventing people from entering within five metres of two work sites.

Justice Kenneth Affleck said Thursday he felt it necessary to make a decision on the second day of a hearing instead of issuing a written order involving outraged demonstrators who have blocked vehicles and workers at the Burnaby Terminal and the Westridge Marine Terminal.

The injunction is indefinite, allowing Trans Mountain to continue work it’s legally entitled to do after the federal government approved the twinning of an existing pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby in the belief it is in the best interest of Canada, Affleck said.

Trans Mountain has said that while protests began last November, it sought an injunction after demonstrators began intensifying their blockades recently when trees were being cleared. It said construction at the sites in Burnaby, B.C., is expected to last until December 2020.

Affleck agreed with lawyers for two of 15 named defendants in a notice of civil claim that a 50-metre perimeter as part of an interim injunction he granted last week was too broad because it encroached on private property and trails.

Related: Injunction hearing told pipeline critics ‘inconvenience’ Kinder Morgan in B.C.

Trans Mountain’s lawyer, Shaun Parker, requested a structure called Camp Cloud near the Burnaby Terminal be removed, calling it a “hotbed of aggressive activity” for protesters who want to “destroy the project.”

But the judge said it will stay.

“In my view there has to be a means of allowing the protesters who object to this work to remain reasonably close to the site,” Affleck said. ”The plaintiff is going to have to tolerate a certain amount of agitation.”

Parker was also unsuccessful in his request for an order requiring the removal of a structure called the Watch House, saying it’s on a pipeline right of way and would cause significant safety risks.

“I’m sensitive to the concern of those who created this Watch House, that it is of considerable significance to them,” Affleck said of the structure that was erected near the Burnaby Terminal on Saturday, when people marched against the pipeline.

Related: Trans Mountain seeks permanent injunction against protesters in court

He said Trans Mountain would have to demonstrate any emergency need to remove the Watch House but would then have to replace it.

Casey Leggett, a lawyer for one of the defendants, said citizens have a constitutional right to protest the expansion of the pipeline.

“The inconvenience, which my friends call a blockade, hasn’t gotten to the level of establishing irreparable harm,” Leggett said.

He read from affidavits presented in court by a Trans Mountain lawyer, saying the company’s security staff noted protesters have sometimes stood peacefully at or near access roads to two marine terminals in Burnaby without disrupting vehicles or workers and left after police arrived.

He said in one case, a woman was seen praying on a road and didn’t engage with security staff while on another day a woman sat in a lawn chair as vehicles were guided around her at slow speed.

Affleck said while the first protesters’ conduct was unobjectionable, the second woman had no right to sit in the middle of a public road and the police would be justified in removing her.

The judge also suggested Leggett was cherry-picking incidents that did not involve blockades aimed at stopping work at the terminals.

Leggett replied that Trans Mountain had done the same and also focused on blockades rather than inconvenience, which he said does not justify an injunction.

Activists have said they will continue opposing the $7.4-billion project despite the injunction.

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sisters swimming to protect B.C. coastal ecosystems

Jennifer and Alyssa Madill are preparing to swim from Denman Island to Hornby Island

Foul play not suspected in man’s death in Chemainus

Long attempt made to revive unidentified person on the dock

Comox Valley Nature hosts Rosewell Creek walk

Sunday morning walk part of CV Nature’s montly series

Youth lead Millard Creek fisheries tour

Join the Youth and Ecological Restoration (YER) youth-led fisheries tour at 3300… Continue reading

NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership certificate starts this fall

Seats are open for the September start of NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership… Continue reading

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Courtenay sees drop in crime

Last year busiest on record for police

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark criticizes feds for buying pipeline

The $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline second worst decision, she said

New B.C. Hydro electric car chargers launch on Vancouver Island

Fast-chargers to reduce ‘range anxiety’ for B.C. electric car drivers

‘Takes more courage to fail’: B.C. ultra-marathon swimmer reflects on cancelled try at record

Susan Simmons halted her swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back because of hypothermia

Animals moved from B.C. Interior shelters to make way for pets displaced by wildfires

The Maple Ridge SPCA houses animals to make space for pets evacuated from B.C.’s burning interior.

$21.5 million medical pot plant to be built in B.C.

The facility is to be built in Princeton

Courtenay council nixes bridge idea at 21st

Staff to report about leasing at Airpark

Spokane man enlists 500,000+ box fans to blow wildfire smoke back to B.C.

Spokane man Caleb Moon says he’s had enough with smoky skies from B.C.’s forest fires blanketing his city

Most Read