One person has been arrested after locking himself on a piece of machinery on Monday being used by to down trees in Burnaby as part of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
“Several land defenders risked arrest at dawn today, as part of their duty to protect the environment for future generations and wildlife,” said a news release from the group Protect the Planet – Stop TMX. “One man peacefully locked his body onto a tank-like machine with 30-foot metal tracks, used to cut trees.”
Shortly after 7:30 a.m., security discovered him locked to the equipment. The man was removed from the equipment (see the video below), with protest organizers saying the man suffered an undetermined injury in the process.
Burnaby RCMP later arrived on scene and the man - described as a senior citizen - was arrested.
The protest is part of a series of escalating events to protest the tree cutting along the Brunette River in Burnaby.
Several “prayer circles” have been set up at the gates along North Road, just south of Highway 1, on the Burnaby-New Westminster border where Trans Mountain has started clearing trees. One person was arrested at this same spot on March 4.
A march also took place last Wednesday, with hundreds of people walking from North Road to the gates of the Burnaby Mountain tank farm.
In all, about 1,300 are expected to be cut down by Trans Mountain.
The City of Burnaby launched a regulatory fight with Trans Mountain over the removal of more than 1,300 trees. The federal Crown corporation wanted permission to circumvent the city’s tree removal permitting process, claiming unreasonable delays and citing the city’s opposition to tree removal and the project more generally. The city claimed it did not cause any such delays, and the timeline demanded by Trans Mountain for approval was unreasonable.
In the end, Trans Mountain received permission to remove the trees.