Twelve anti-pipeline daredevils that rappelled from Vancouver’s Ironworkers’ Bridge in July and flew large flags protesting Trans Mountain have been told they will not be charged.
Greenpeace announced that crown counsel had advised the organization of the decision.
“We’re glad to hear the news that the charges against myself and the 11 other activists that participated in the Trans Mountain tanker blockade have been dropped. With that said it’s atrocious that the government continues to prosecute and send people to jail for standing up against a project that the Federal Court of Appeal found lacks proper approval,” said Farid Iskander in a statement circulated by Greenpeace. Iskander is a former volunteer for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
The protesters started their airborne blockade on July 3, preventing an oil tanker from leaving the Westridge terminal in Burnaby, before police moved in and arrested them the next day.
Greenpeace climate campaigner Mike Hudema said the recent climate report compiled by scientists worldwide provided even more support to the protestors actions. The report found that there is barely a decade left to avert catastrophe.
“We took this action because we know that in an era of climate crisis and supposed reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, we cannot afford to build a pipeline that lacks Indigenous consent and flies in the face of our international climate commitments especially given yesterday’s dire IPCC report.”
If built, the Trans Mountain expansion would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline system, allowing it to transport up to 890,000 barrels of bitumen and other petroleum products from Alberta to a Burnaby oil terminal in metro Vancouver.
The Alberta and federal governments, along with the oilpatch, believe that project is key to allowing the industry expand into new markets in Asia. Detractors believe the project is too risky and would push Canada's climate change goals out of reach.