BURNABY (NEW 1130) – Demonstrators who are camping out at a site near Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Mountain facility aren’t giving up easily, despite being issued an eviction notice.
Those rallying against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project at the site called “Camp Cloud” were told they needed to clear out of the area on Wednesday, with the notice giving protesters 72 hours to do so.
On Wednesday, City Manager Lambert Chu said some of the structures at the site raised concerns.
“The eviction notice requires that they bring their structures, equipment, and trailers in full compliance with the city bylaw–that means the removal of all structures, vehicles, and extinguish of open fires, and removal of showers, for public safety, fire safety, and environmental concern,” he said. Other issues he cited was concern about a growing footprint of the camp, including the construction of a two-storey building that is dangerously close to live hydro wires.
Should protesters not comply with the notice, the city has said it would look at other legal options.
In response to these claims, Camp Cloud members have penned a letter to the mayor and city council members challenging the process of eviction.
“[We] demand that the City of Burnaby rescind this eviction immediately,” part of the letter reads. It fights back against those claims the camp poses safety, health, and environmental risks. “In light of Kinder Morgan’s track record of oil spills and unlawful activity, this eviction notice is ignorant at best. Camp Cloud exists to protect communities from more of this. Your eviction notice ignores the health and environmental concerns of constructing a pipeline with the capacity to transport upwards of 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day.”
The letter has been signed by a number of different individuals. A Camp Cloud Facebook post asks others to also sign their names.
More than 200 protesters have been arrested over the past several months for defying injunctions.
The use of law enforcement to remove Camp Cloud is itself a safety risk. If the events of November 2014 are any indication, the RCMP response brings violence to the camp and puts protesters and community members in danger. The City of Burnaby owes it to residents to learn from the past and act accordingly.
In March, the BC Supreme Court ruled that both the camp and a nearby watch house could remain in place in response to a court injunction filed by Kinder Morgan, the company behind the construction of the Trans Mountain expansion project.
Instead of moving out of Camp Cloud, protesters are expected to hold a news conference on Saturday morning — when the eviction notice is set to expire.