Awakened 'from their winter slumber,' pipeline opponents hold ceremony on Burnaby Mountain

Liberal government expected to decide on fate of expansion project next month

Opponents of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project gathered on Burnaby Mountain Monday for a ceremony and hot dog barbecue. 

Roughly 20 people gathered near the entrance to the pipeline’s tank farm to smudge, smoke pipes and lay ash across the road.

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It was the first demonstration in several months at the site, which saw near-daily protests last summer.

“We felt like we needed to…  get back into ceremony, which hasn't been happening,” Jim Layden said.

Layden, who often sleeps in the nearby Watch House, said Monday’s ceremony was meant to honour four protesters released from prison this week after being convicted of criminal contempt of court for violating a court injunction against interference with pipeline work. 

“We felt like there was nothing really being done. Our tree climber kind of woke people from their winter slumber,” Layden said, referring to a 71-year-old protester who recently scaled a tree near Trans Mountain’s Westridge Terminal to remove a metal guard preventing eagles from nesting. 

He said a new group called the Mountain Protectors has formed to surveil the tank farm. The group will be starting a new campaign soon, Layden said, but he declined to provide details.

Layden said he expects the coming months to see pipeline protests ramp back up on Burnaby Mountain.

The federal government has pushed back its approval deadline for the project to June 18. 

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