Police have arrested several activists that occupied a Kinder Morgan drilling barge near the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby Monday morning.
According to anti-pipeline activist Adam Gold, two protesters boarded the barge Sunday and stayed overnight. More protesters arrived to join them and bring supplies Monday morning. That’s when police showed up and removed the group.
According to the Burnaby RCMP, seven protesters were arrested this morning with help from the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team.
"Early this morning, the Burnaby RCMP was asked to remove the protestors as it was not safe for them to remain onboard and they were impeding the work being performed on the barge," the police stated in a release. "The Burnaby RCMP would like to remind the public that the drilling barge is private property and as such those persons arrested will be facing criminal mischief charges."
Kinder Morgan spokesperson Ali Hounsell said the protesters were peaceful by all accounts, and there weren’t any altercations on board.
“But we needed to make sure we could proceed with the work safely,” she said Monday. “There was no work planned yesterday, so there was no impact to any work at that point. Our priority is to ensure the crews, as well as anyone else, is safe. We wanted to ensure that we could continue to work, so the RCMP were asked to remove them.”
Hounsell said the company has the necessary permits in place from Port Metro Vancouver.
Kinder Morgan is drilling boreholes and taking underwater soil samples as part of the plan to expand the Westridge Marine Terminal, a dock on the Burrard Inlet where tankers fill up with crude. The drilling is similar to the survey work that spurred mass protests on Burnaby Mountain last fall. The work is ongoing until Feb. 29.