A still image from video posted to Facebook by user Uni Urchin and confirmed by RCMP shows an officer starting to chase after a demonstrator in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, March 25, 2018. Source: BC CTV.
RCMP should press charges against demonstrators who obstructed officer’s arrest of man for mischief
It was inevitable. Now that the Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed BC’s request to appeal a National Energy Board ruling against the City of Burnaby, in the process pretty much affirming exclusive federal jurisdiction over the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline, attention will turn to the anti-Kinder Morgan protests. Right on cue, an RCMP officer is assaulted and injured by protesters and the Burnaby mayor, in a fit of pique, refuses to pay for extra policing costs even though his obstreperous opposition to the project is one of the reasons for the protests.
Burnaby RCMP report that on Sunday around 6 pm they caught a 41-year old man removing a “survey monument” in the 8000-block of Shellmont Street and attempted to arrest him for mischief.
At which point all hell broke loose.
“The male resisted and a number of demonstrators from a nearby camp proceeded to rush in and physically obstruct the officer which allowed the male suspect to flee,” the RCMP noted dryly in their press release.
“The police officer then proceeded to chase the male. The police officer was in turn pursued by a number of demonstrators from the camp, one of whom allegedly pushed the police officer, causing the police officer to injure his knee.”
The protesters pursued the officer? How very un-Canadian of them.
The Mountie eventually ran down his man and are considering charges against some of the demonstrators who interfered with the arrest in the first place.
Good on ’em. In fact, throw the book at ’em as an example to the rest.
Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr warned last year that Trans Mountain Expansion opponents are welcome to protest, as is their legal right, but they must not break the law.
He briefly suggested the Canadian government might call out the army to quell rowdy protesters before backing down and apologizing for, well, speaking was undoubtedly discussed around the Trudeau cabinet table.
Superintendent Chuck McDonald, operations officer with Burnaby RCMP put it bluntly:
Our police officers have been consummate professionals and facilitated the right of thousands of people to lawful, peaceful and safe protest in this area over the past number of weeks. Obstructing police officers and injuring them in the course of their duties is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Perhaps more obstruction and injury will be the order of the day if Burnaby Derek Corrigan follows through with his threat to not pay for the extra policing necessitated by the Burnaby Mountain demonstrators.
“We’re not paying for the additional policing costs that are being accumulated as a result of the protests at the Trans Mountain project,” Corrigan was quoted by the Vancouver Sun.
“I don’t think there is anybody in the Western world who doesn’t know now that Burnaby is not paying.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley had some harsh words for the blunt speaking, long-time card-carrying member of the BC NDP.
“Quite frankly, I think the mayor of Burnaby is stumbling into some pretty irresponsible areas,” Notley said while speaking at a St. Albert event.
“If he were allowed to carry on that path, it’s a very, very slippery slope towards political interference in the administration of justice … in a way that’s going to undermine public confidence on a whole number of fronts.”
In other words, stop being such a sore loser, Mr. Mayor.
The only hope for Corrigan and BC Premier John Horgan and the Vancouver environmental groups to stop Kinder Morgan now is the judicial review of the decision by the governor in council (basically the federal cabinet) to approve the project back in 2016.
After the Federal Court of Appeal’s dismissal of BC’s leave to appeal a Dec. NEB ruling against Burnaby that allowed the company to cut trees without a municipal permit, the prospect of BC’s reference case to the court over restricting dilbit shipments in pipelines being accepted is looking mighty dim.
Environment Minister George Heyman’s promise that the Province will continue trying to block the pipeline by any legal means available to it is also looking pretty thin.
In other words, protests are all opponents have left.
Assaulting police officers is just the warm up act. Expect protests like Canada has never seen before.
Between now and the end of the year it is very likely Burnaby will be home to a huge protest village like the one set up by the Standing Rock Sioux in late 2016 to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
Organizers crowdfunded $1.5 million every day to feed and care for over 5,000 people in the village.
To keep an eye on Kinder Morgan construction operations, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation recently set up a “watch house,” which will likely become the Burnaby equivalent of the protest village.
Expect it to get increasingly noisy, rowdy, and eventually more violent.
In the not too distant future, we’ll look back on the spectacle of a crowd chasing a police officer as mildly amusing compared to the pyrotechnics of what lies ahead.