A handful of environmental guardians have politely declined a request to move out of a "Watch House" that was built to keep an eye on Texas-based Kinder Morgan's construction activities on Burnaby Mountain in the Greater Vancouver Region.
The "Watch House" was erected on Saturday during a massive demonstration that brought together thousands of Indigenous Canadians and Americans, politicians and activists to voice their opposition to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
The decision to remain came after workers at the key construction site for the project handed the occupants of the house a copy of a court injunction on Monday and told them to leave within 10 minutes, so that the company could proceed with technical work required to proceed with pipeline.
The project has sparked a large opposition on the west coast due to concerns that it would push Canada's climate change goals out of reach and lead to oil spills. Supporters of the project, including Alberta, which is home to the world's third largest crude oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, say the pipeline expansion is needed to support growth in the oilpatch.
"Once people are handed an injunction, they have 10 minutes to vacate," said one of six employees that descended on the site.
The Kinder Morgan staff then returned to the company's tank farm.
Kinder Morgan said in a statement to National Observer on Saturday that it understood that some people had opposing views on the pipeline expansion, but that the company hoped it could be built in a respectful way.
"We support the right to peacefully and lawfully express opinions and views about our project, and we understand that not everyone supports the expansion," the company said in an email. "But, we're confident we can build and operate this project in a way that respects the values and priorities of Canadians and in respect of the environment."