Photo credit - Donna Clark
Photo credit - Donna Clark

PRESS RELEASES

Press Release for Immediate Release: May 10, 2022

Media contact: Kris Hermes 604-228-9993 or krishermes@earthlink.net

Tsleil-Waututh Land Defender Will George Sentenced to 28 Days in Jail for Breaching Trans Mountain Injunction

In Front of a Packed Courtroom of Supporters, Will George Was Taken Into Custody After BC Supreme Court Justice Fitzpatrick Imposed Her Sentence

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/ Vancouver, BC - Before a courtroom packed with supporters, Tsleil-Waututh Land Defender Will George was sentenced to 28 days in jail for breaching the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline injunction and was immediately taken into custody. BC Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick deferred to the Crown's recommended sentence and all but ignored arguments from defence counsel for why George should instead be sentenced to community service hours and probation.

Today was Day 2 of George's sentencing hearing. Yesterday, Justice Fitzpatrick stated in the morning that she had not read George's 16-page Gladue report, which lays out his childhood history and cultural background, and gives reasons why the court should consider non-custodial sentencing options. Although Fitzpatrick has had the report for months, she took only a 15-minute break to scan it, after which she was ready to sentence George the same day. "It was clear from Fitzpatrick's tone and attitude in court that Will George's Gladue report, and the principles on which it's based, don't matter to her," said Rita Wong, a supporter of Will George.

George was targeted and charged by the Crown in January 2021 with criminal contempt despite never being arrested, and during a period when pipeline work had been suspended. George-who was tried last fall-is the first Tsleil-Waututh member to be convicted for resisting the TMX pipeline while on his own ancestral, unceded land. Despite George being present with several others on the day he was accused of breaching the TMX injunction, the Crown only brought charges against George.

"This is yet another example of the Crown continuing its long history of systemic racism and colonial violence, as it tries to separate Indigenous people from their land and criminalize them for defending it from harmful resource extraction," continued Wong. "The Crown is meant to represent the public interest, yet it wilfully obstructs those trying to address the climate crisis, and instead pushes oil and gas projects that go against everything humanity is being called to do. Criminalizing indigenous land defenders is racist and unjust."

The Crown prosecutor sought a stiff jail sentence for George even though the BC Prosecution Services has a policy of seeking non-custodial sentences for Indigenous defendants, with jail time being a "sanction of last resort."


Media Advisory, May 6, 2022

Giant HUG protects Burnaby Mountain from Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX)

Unceded səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territories BURNABY - In an action inspired by other iconic human chains in history and around the world, hundreds of people will gather this Saturday to encircle Burnaby Mountain in a giant HUG to stand against the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion.

Saturday, May 7, 1-4pm, Burnaby Mountain at various sites.

Media opportunities: Saturday May 7 at 2pm at Kwekwecnewtxw Traditional Coast Salish Watch House. Watch House Elder Jim Leyden will offer prayers and words. HUG Spokesperson Dr. Kate Tairan is available for interview. Visuals: Watch House, kids, people gathering and forming HUG. Backdrop of forest and tanks, banners. People in a human chain along the forest road.

2:30pm at TMX Burnaby Terminal gates at Shellmont St and Underhill Ave. Kukpi7 Judy Wilson will be available in addition to a HUG Spokesperson & Protect the Planet Spokesperson. Visuals: Main gate for the TMX Tank Farm, injunction sign, totem pole, people in a human chain down Shelmont.

Photos and Video will be available through the day here

WHY: Facing the climate crisis demands a drastic reduction in the use of fossil fuels and an end to building new fossil fuel infrastructure. The Trans Mountain Expansion will triple the amount of diluted bitumen transported from the Alberta tar sands to Burnaby BC - 890 thousand barrels per day - resulting in deadly increases in global emissions. This project is the opposite of what scientists and health experts have been urging for years, undermines Canada's commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, crosses the unceded territories of many First Nations without consent, and ignores the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global report that UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres called "code red for humanity."

Burnaby Mountain is a highly impacted site of TMX construction. It hosts the Burnaby Terminal (a collection of flammable storage tanks) and the Burnaby Mountain Tunnel, which will involve boring through the mountain to accommodate the pipeline. Students, faculty and staff of Simon Fraser University and nearby schools, residents of Burnaby, and the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster all oppose TMX.

For more information, please visit www.hugthemountain.ca and refer to the PDF below.

HUG photos & videos will be uploaded to this folder

Media Advisory For Immediate Release: May 6, 2022

Tsleil-Waututh Land Defender Will George Faces Jail Time for Breaching TMX Injunction 

A sentencing hearing and rally for Tsleil-Waututh Land Defender Will George will be held Monday, May 9, 2022 at 10am  A people's rally in support of George will be held at 9am outside of the BC Supreme Court, 800 Smithe St, Vancouver, BC (Rally at Hornby & Nelson Streets) The sentencing hearing is at 10am  

The Crown Ignores Its Own Policy to Seek Non-Custodial Sentences for Indigenous Defendants xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxw.7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil- Waututh) Territories/ Vancouver, BC - Tsleil-Waututh Land Defender Will George - who faces at least 30 days in jail for breaching the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline injunction - will have his sentencing hearing in the BC Supreme Court. 

Despite never being arrested, and during a period when pipeline work was suspended, George was targeted and charged by the Crown in January 2021 with criminal contempt. George - who was tried last fall  - is the first Tsleil-Waututh member to be convicted for resisting the TMX pipeline while on his own ancestral, unceded land. The prosecutor is seeking a stiff jail sentence for George even though the Crown has a policy of seeking non-custodial sentences for Indigenous defendants, with jail time being a "sanction of last resort."

"This is yet another example of the Crown continuing its long history of systemic racism and colonial violence, as it tries to separate Indigenous people from their land and criminalize them for defending it from harmful resource extraction," said Rita Wong, a supporter of Will George. "The Crown is meant to represent the public interest, yet it wilfully obstructs those trying to address the climate crisis, and instead pushes oil and gas projects that go against everything humanity is being called to do," continued Wong. "Criminalizing indigenous land defenders is hypocritical, racist and unjust.

Media contact: Rita Wong 604-653-4006 or rita_wong@shaw.ca

See the PDF.


Media Advisory, May 2, 2022

Hug Burnaby Mountain, Organized by Protect the Planet

(Burnaby, BC)-It's the biggest hug in BC! On Saturday May 7 from 1-4pm Burnaby Mountain will be hugged by supporters of Protect the Planet and its partners, grassroots organizations that stand against the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. In an action inspired by other iconic human chains in history and around the world, we will encircle Burnaby Mountain to convey a powerful message of shared concern for our Mother Earth.

Kwekwecnewtxw: traditional Coast Salish Watch House on the Trans Mountain Trail in Burnaby will be the central meeting point for families, children, earth protectors, and concerned citizens from across the lower mainland. At 2pm attendees will stand, link arms or stretch fabric between them, and encircle the mountain that is focal point for the pipeline expansion

Hug the Mountain is a response to climate change. The crisis demands that we stop building new fossil fuel infrastructure. Yet the federal government crown corporation, Trans Mountain Expansion, will increase global emissions. If completed, the TMX pipeline will carry 890 thousand barrels per day of highly toxic, flammable diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to Burnaby BC. The pipeline will run through residential neighbourhoods, next to schools and vulnerable salmon-bearing streams and sensitive ecosystems. Once it reaches Burnaby, it will be loaded onto massive tankers that will transport it to the Pacific Ocean and ultimately to foreign refineries in countries, such as China.

This project is the opposite of what scientists and health experts have been urging for years, undermines Canada's commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, crosses the unceded lands of many Indigenous communities without consent, and ignores the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global report that UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres called "code red for humanity."

For more information, please visit www.hugthemountain.ca or see the PDF below.

For interviews and images, please email: hugburnabymountain@gmail.com

Hug The Mountain Promotion Video (2 min)


Media Advisory, Updated April 28, 2022

Court Battle; First Nations vs the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline, Enters its 2nd Day

Unceded Secwepemc Territory/KAMLOOPS - On Thursday at 10:00 AM PST, Eight Land Defenders are facing trial at the BC Supreme Court for having blocked work on the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline. Secwepemc Hereditary Chief, 3 Matriarchs and Allies in Supreme Court today facing 30 days in jail demanding Secwepemc Law be respected on Secwepemc land.

Trial of eight land defenders including Hereditary chief Sawses (Secwepemc) along with 3 matriarchs and 4 settler allies, Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick presiding enters it's second day. Today, the Crown Prosecutor will respond to the applications from the Trial of Eight. The Secwepemc Nation has made application that states, that this trial violates Secwepemc Law on Secwepemc Land. Also the application calls for a stay of all charges on the grounds that Judge Afleck in 2018 granted an injunction without the free and prior informed consent of all indigenous nations whose territory the proposed pipeline traverses, as per the Canadian Gov't obligation under UNDRIP and DRIPA. Further the application is made under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.

For more information, see the PDF.


Media Advisory, April 27, 2022 

Court Battle; First Nations vs the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline

On Wednesday April 27th at 10:00 at the Unceded Secwepemc Territory/KAMLOOPS Courthouse, eight Land Defenders are facing trial at the BC Supreme Court for having blocked work on the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline.Secwepemc Hereditary Chief, 3 Matriarchs and Allies in Supreme Court today facing 30 days in jail demanding Secwepemc Law be respected on Secwepemc land. Trial of Eight land defenders including Hereditary chief Sawses (Secwepemc) along with 3 matriarchs and 4 settler allies, Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick presiding.

For more information, see the PDF.


Media Advisory, April 22, 2022

Friday Earth Day 2022 - Rally and March, International Declaration for Action

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxw.7mesh (Squamish) & səlJilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/ VANCOUVER - On Friday April 22, grassroots communities and people will rally and march to express commitment to a liveable and just world. According to the former chief science advisor to the UK government, Sir David King: "What we do in the next [2-3 years] will determine the future of humanity." Participants will call out the Canadian and BC governments for being "dangerous" and "immoral" as recently stated by the UN Secretary General (*).

The event will also feature Brent Eichler, who has been on hunger strike for 29 days in an effort to convince the Minister of Forests, the honourable Katrine Conroy, to host a public meeting on protecting the last remaining old growth forests in British Columbia. The event will bring to mind Howard Breen in Nanaimo, who has been on hunger strike for 22 days for the same reason and will stop taking fluids at 12am on April 22 if the province remains silent any longer.

For more information, see the PDF.


Media Advisory, April 8 2022

Activists to Stage Oil Tanker Protest at Infamous False Creek Barge 

Friday April 8th beginning at 9:30 am, I7iyelshn - Sunset Beach Park

Early this morning, activists, including noted Award Winning environmentalist Tzeporah Berman and public health expert Dr. Tim Takaro, will climb the False Creek Barge to hang banners with messages that call attention to the risk of oil spill projects from the Trans Mountain oil tanker and pipeline project (TMX). If the TMX project is completed, it will result in a seven fold increase in oil tanker traffic in Vancouver Harbour, which significantly increases the risk of an oil spill. The recent announcement by the federal government, that they will not invest more public funds in the project, is a serious setback for the pipeline which is less than half built and now needs to find at least $8 billion in funding from private investors.

Media Contact: Ziona Eyob, Media Director - Canada, Stand.earth. +1 604 757 7279, ziona@stand.earth

For more information, see the PDF.

Press Release, Wednesday April 6, 2022

People Across the Country Glue Themselves to RBC Banks to Demand Divestment from Coastal Gaslink

Unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations (VANCOUVER, BC) - On Thursday, April 7, 2022 - the date of the RBC annual shareholders' meeting - individuals from across the country will be gluing and chaining themselves to the doors of RBC branches. Their demand? That RBC respect Indigenous sovereignty and divest from the Coastal Gaslink pipeline. 

Wet'suwet'en land defenders and allies have been opposed to the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline drilling under sacred bodies of water on unceded land, as this impacts food sources, water, and a way of life for those who live there. On October 19, 2021, the Gidimt'en Checkpoint from the Wet'suwet'en Members issued a letter to over 35 CGL investors and banks demanding that they cease and withdraw all support from CGL and LNG Canada.

Actions will start at 9:30am on Thursday April 7.

For more information, download the PDF.

Media Advisory, Tuesday March 29, 2022

Rally to be Held Outside Court Sentencing Hearing to Show Support for Tsleil Waututh Land Defender, Will George

 xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) /Vancouver

On March 29th at 9:00 AM PST, a solidarity rally will be held outside the BC Provincial Court to support Will George, a Tsleil-Waututh Land Defender facing up to 60 days in jail for protesting the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline project. He may be taken into custody at the time of sentencing.up to 60 days in jail for protesting the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline project. 

Download the PDF for more details.

Media Alert: March 25, 2022

Vancouver Youth Rally and March Against RBC and Fossil Financers

Friday March 25th 2022, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. PST. Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby St) and Royal Bank of Canada (1025 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC)

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/ VANCOUVER - A youth-led coalition will lead an action calling out RBC as one of Canada's biggest fossil fuel funders. The action calls on banks and insurance companies to stop funding fossil fuels and prioritize #PeopleNotProfit. It is associated with the international Fridays for Future climate strike, this public, family-friendly, covid-safe rally and march calls on RBC to stop funding fossil fuel extraction and prioritize #PeopleNotProfit. Download the PDF for more details.


Press Release: March 8, 2022

Property Developer in Surrey Wants More Money from Trans Mountain

Vesta Properties files for financial losses caused by construction delays and "stigma of proximity to new pipeline." Latest in series of allegations that Trans Mountain negotiates in bad faith.

Surrey, BC - Unceded Coast Salish Territories - On Monday, February 28, legal counsel for Vesta Property filed documents with the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) as part of an unfolding challenge to Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline (TMX) over inadequate compensation. They say the $2.65 million they received from Trans Mountain (TM) in June 2021 is not enough to cover damages made to their Fraser Heights property by the high-pressure tar sands pipeline currently being built through North Slope Buffer Park and surrounding areas in Surrey.

Download the PDF for more details.


Press Release: February 28, 2022

Climate Leaders Do Not Build Pipelines:
Cancel TMX Now

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxw 7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/ VANCOUVER - On February 18, Canadians received a cost update that the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline is now estimated at $21.4 billion and a year behind schedule. The statement was released on the Friday evening of a long weekend. The news was further buried by the siege in Ottawa while Parliament debated the Emergencies Act.

Also on that day, a number of important announcements were made about the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline. Foremost, the updated estimated costs for the new pipeline was reported to have risen 70% over two years to an astounding $21.4 billion. The federal government quickly responded that it would end public funding of the project and that it would develop a divestment strategy, seek private funding, and possibly sell it to indigenous investors. Organizations and communities critical of the project were quick to challenge the government's continued commitment to the pipeline.

Download the PDF for more details.


Press Release: February 15, 2022

Two More Accused of Breaching Trans Mountain Injunction Sentenced to 14-21 days in Jail

Land Defenders Willing to Go to Jail to Stop TMX, Fight Climate Crisis, Taken Into Custody

Vancouver, BC (Unceded Coast Salish Territories) - Two more land defenders-Zain Haq, 21, and Bill Winder, 69-arrested in September for breaching the Trans Mountain (TMX) injunction pled guilty today and were sentenced by BC Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick to 14 days and 21 days in jail, respectively. Haq and Winder follow three other land defenders sentenced yesterday to 14 days in jail, one of whom expects to spend her 80th birthday behind bars.

Haq, Winder, and the others are part of the Brunette River 6, a nondenominational, multi-faith prayer circle. They were all arrested last fall for opposing tree cutting by TMX, out of concern for the degradation this project will have on urban salmon streams and rivers. All six were charged with criminal contempt of court.

Tim Takaro, 64-the sixth member of the Brunette River 6-appeared today, but pled not guilty and will proceed to trial. Both Winder and Takaro were arrested while occupying the forest canopy in a series of tree-sits and are facing 21 and 28 days in jail, respectively.

Download the PDF for more details.


Press Release: February 14, 2022

Three Women Accused of Breaching Trans Mountain Injunction Each Sentenced to 14 days in Jail

Catherine Hembling, One of the Brunette River 6, Prepares to Spend Her 80th Birthday Behind Bars

Vancouver, BC (Unceded Coast Salish Territories) - Three women arrested in September for breaching the Trans Mountain (TMX) injunction plead guilty today and were sentenced to 14 days in jail by BC Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick. After a lively rally outside the courthouse, the three land defenders-Catherine Hembling, 79, Janette McIntosh, 58, and Ruth Walmsley, 61- delivered impassioned statements to the court, after which they were taken into custody to serve their sentences. Hembling will spend her 80th birthday, on February 23, in jail.

Zain Haq, 21, and Bill Winder, 69-also members of the Brunette River 6-are expected to plead guilty tomorrow, February 15. Tim Takaro, 64-the sixth member of the Brunette River 6-will appear tomorrow, but is not expected to enter a plea at that time. Both Winder and Takaro were arrested for occupying the forest canopy in a series of tree-sits and are facing 21 and 28 days in jail, respectively.

Since the TMX injunction was imposed in March 2018, more than 240 people have been arrested for criminal contempt. Most people were ordered to serve community service hours or pay fines of up to $3,000, but more than three dozen people have been sentenced to between 4 days and 5 months in jail for taking a peaceful stand against TMX.

Download the PDF for more details.


Media Advisory: February 11, 2022

Six Arrested for Breaching Trans Mountain Injunction to Plead Guilty, Face up to 28 days in Jail

One land defender facing 14 days in jail expects to spend her 80th birthday behind bars

Vancouver, BC (Unceded Coast Salish Territories) - Six land defenders arrested last fall and charged with criminal contempt for breaching the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) injunction will be sentenced in the BC Supreme Court on Monday, Feb. 14, and Tuesday, Feb. 15, starting at 10am on both days. The land defenders, who are calling themselves the Brunette River 6, are facing from 14-28 days in jail. A rally will be held in advance of Monday's sentencing at 9:30am.

Download the PDF for more details.

Op Ed: Vancouver Sun February 9, 2022

Ruth Walmsley: Why we face jail time for safeguarding a livable climate

Opinion: In our efforts to stop tree-cutting at a TMX work site, two of us occupied trees, while four positioned ourselves in active work zones . . . one of us expects to be spending her 80th birthday in jail, and another his 65th.

See the link to the Vancouver Sun Op Ed here


For Release: February 1, 2022

Conflict of interest: CER overrules concerns about Fraser River re-drilling by Trans Mountain


Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territory (Coquitlam, BC) - The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has approved Trans Mountain Canada's request to re-route a failed drilling tunnel under the Fraser River. The decision to rubber stamp the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline ignores the concerns of Members of Parliament, environmental groups, citizens and First Nations. The decision did not address the letter of concern submitted by six Members of Parliament. Nor did it consider the Statements of Opposition filed by numerous environmental groups and several citizens. CER passed its decision without granting discussion nor response to concerns filed by a local First Nation about the proposal's impact to ancestral lands.

Download the PDF for more details.


For Release: January 18, 2022 

Trans Mountain fails to explain to Regulator why its Fraser River Tunnel collapsed 

Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓ əm Territory (Coquitlam, BC) - Three local environmental groups are renewing calls for the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) to deny Trans Mountain Pipeline's proposal to relocate and redrill 350 metres of its new pipeline tunnel under the Fraser River after parts of the tunnel collapsed in November. Six NDP Members of Parliament have added their voices in a letter to the CER and Minister Jonathon Wilkinson.

Download the PDF for more details.


January 13: 2022

Six NDP MPs wrote concerned letter to CER & Minister Wilkinson re: TMX Pipeline re-route.

January 13, 2022. Six Federal NDP Members of Parliament wrote an open letter to the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) and to Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources outlining concerns about the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion re-route and requesting that CER's approval of this request does not go ahead and that work is halted until current reports and studies have been conducted, submitted and reviewed. 

Download the PDF for more details.


For Release:  January 3, 2022

Re-Drilling the Fraser: Trans Mountain Applies Trial and Error Under the World's Greatest Salmon River

Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territory (Coquitlam, BC) - After completing the Fraser River tunnel for the new expansion pipeline, Trans Mountain Canada announced it must relocate and redrill 350 metres of tunnel. This comes after a series of troubling incidents around this segment of the multi-billion dollar project, all pointing to cost cutting measures on risk management. More troubling is that the Crown corporation ignored the advice of its expert consultants, who recommended more test drilling and highlighted concerns about the choice of standard horizontal direct drilling (HDD) on soft and untested soils. 

Download the PDF for more details.


2021


Press Release: September 28, 2021

Peaceful Tree-Sitters Forcibly Removed by Tactical RCMP From Treehouse Stronghold

Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territory (BURNABY, BC) - At 7:30 this morning, around 20 RCMP agents, including 10 tactical special agents, arrived at the anti-TMX tree sits in the Brunette River Conservation Area. Land defenders have held this area for 286 days, since Dec. 2020. The assault on the tree platforms involved militarized vehicles, and a treaded articulating telescopic bucket truck which was used to remove the dedicated Land Defenders from their fortified perches today - actually two tree-houses boasting open-concept kitchens and battery power capable of lasting for days in a siege situation.

"Today we made a tactical retreat in the forest in the face of overwhelming forces of the petro-state." said Dr. Tim Takaro, speaking on behalf of the coalition and grassroots that support him. "We will not stop defending the planet since we know the state will not stop their actions to destroy it. Most of us, including doctors, scientists and the general public know that the Kenney-Trudeau Trans Mountain pipeline is a climate catastrophe that must be stopped immediately for the safety of future generations." 

Download the PDF for more details.


Press Release: September 23. 2021 

Two Arrested, TMX Tank Forced to Retreat

Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territory (BURNABY, BC) - This morning, eight land defenders breached Trans Mountain (TMX) security fences. As of 12:00, two seniors had been arrested. Also, some daring canopy antics led to the 40 foot "tank" to be parked for the rest of the day. The tree protection camp has won another day.

This morning around 8am, eight individuals stepped past numerous security personnel at a contested TMX work site in Burnaby. Four members of the Prayer Circle Direct Action group, an affinity group of Protect the Planet Stop TMX (PPST), took up positions blocking the tank/ cherry picker used to cut trees and threaten the tree sits at Lost Creek. Yesterday, that tank dismantled two "skypod" aerial camps and arrested tree sitter, Bill Winder (69). Today, we can confirm 2 arrests, both seniors: Catherine Hembling and Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta.

Download the PDFs for more details.


Press Release: September 23, 2021

More arrests of peaceful anti-pipeline land defenders at TMX site in Burnaby

Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓ əm Territory (BURNABY, BC) - The siege that began on Sept. 7th continues to escalate at the tree sit protecting the Brunette River. Yesterday two "skypods" were dismantled and one person was arrested. Today, land defenders intend to protect the Lost Creek tree sits; the two platforms are one of the stronghold of the resistance. Climate breakdown, extinction, genocide and corporate bullying are just a few reasons that land defenders won't back down.

At 7am today, eight land defenders entered the blue fencing erected by TMX in the Brunette River Conservation Area. A prayer circle of four individuals sat down to block the "tank", a large machine used to cut trees for pipeline construction. After RCMP arrived to the scene, two senior individuals were arrested. 

Download the PDF for more details.


Press Release: September 8, 2021

Confrontation looms between TMX pipeline and Burnaby land defenders

Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territory (BURNABY, BC) - A TreeHouse Siege has begun in Metro Vancouver. Yesterday, the peaceful treesit that has blocked construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline for over a year was enclosed by blue security fencing, and security restricted access to food delivery. There is concern that Trans Mountain intends to starve the tree sitters or to extract them with unskilled contractors.

At 10:00 on Wednesday, media are invited to accompany supporters bringing food to the enclosed tree sit and confront TMX security. Meet at Hume Park. Contact Rod Marining (604) 219-3424.

The tree sit at Lost Creek has grown since the first structure appeared in Dec. 2020. In addition to more treetop structures, situated 15-30 metres above the ground in bigleaf maples, the number of tree sitters has grown too. Hundreds of citizens are on standby to protect the non-violent land defenders.

For more details download the PDF.


August 16: 2021 

Land Defenders reveal Giant Spiderweb to delay Trans Mountain pipeline construction in Burnaby

Many of the trees in the cut zone are now connected high in the canopy by a complex series of ropes, much like a giant spider web. For transparency and safety, informational signs have been posted. PPST is committed to stopping TMX in ways that are respectful, and cause no harm to people, animals, or trees.


Press Release: August 4, 2021

STOPPING the Trans Mountain pipeline: one year later

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (Burnaby, BC) - On August 3, 2020, land protectors in Burnaby began a treesit in a conservation area along the Brunette River in order to block construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline (TMX). One year later the blockade remains at Lost Creek (aka Austin Ck), with several treesits adjoining now occupied. Protect the Planet Stop TMX which leads the coalition effort is offering a tour to journalists who wish to visit the aerial camp, Sat. Aug. 7, led by Dr. Tim Takaro, the first of several tree sitters, who ascended to the treetops a year ago.

Trans Mountain has suffered a series of setbacks in addition to the one-year delay in Burnaby. The most devastating are due to the climate emergency that has killed 100s of people in BC this summer and threatened the homes and livelihoods of many more. The heat-dome event was quickly linked to climate change caused by burning of fossil fuels. People are connecting the dots between TMX, the expansion of the Alberta oilsands, the associated greenhouse gas emissions, and the death and destruction from the heat and fires blanketing the province, as demonstrated by nearly 5000 signatures on a Parliamentary Petition circulating online to stop the project.

Other blows this past year to the publicly funded project include the International Energy Agency declaring an international moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure. As well, the Canadian Energy Regulator reported in Nov. 2020 that TMX is not needed for Canada's energy future. Economists note how the project will lose money if completed, with the costs to taxpayers ballooning over 70%. Because of these risks, a growing number of insurers have pulled out of the project.

Press Release: May 31, 2021

Prayer Circle facing arrest at TM construction site

Photo credit Diane Lake
Photo credit Diane Lake

This morning, a prayer circle gathered at the Brunette in meditation and prayer to prevent destruction of riparian critical habitat for the Nooksack dace (Rhinichthys cataractae), which is listed as Endangered under Schedule 1 of the Species At Risk Act. This small minnow-like fish has lived in the region since the continental ice sheet began its retreat 10,000 years ago. In 2020, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) authorized vegetationclearing at this location, acknowledging that the work will "likely result in prohibited impactsto Nooksack dace and their critical habitat" or cause "serious harm".

The inter-faith group is concerned that the construction, mitigation and reclamation plans authorized by DFO will not suffice to maintain this population. Catherine Hembling, a Unitarian who is prepared for arrest said, "The Canada Energy Regulator, BC Oil and Gas Commission and DFO have given TM permission and authorization to clear vegetation in the riparian zone outside the 'least risk window', but it is clear that this beautifulgreenspace - a jewel in our urban environment - will be destroyed with no possibility of re-creation nor restoration. Plus, we know the approval process for the project was rigged, since consideration of downstream climate impacts was prohibited." She continued, "When Burnaby's municipal by-laws to protect urban forest and park-land were over-ruled, it became clear to us that someone needs to speak up. Personally, I cannot allow thousands of trees to be cut down for such a short-sighted project."

For more information, download the PDF. 


Press Release: June 6, 2021

PPST Prepares To Take Trans Mountain to Court over Non-Compliance

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (BURNABY, BC) - The current order from Canada Energy Regulator (CER) to stop all cutting and mowing along the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX) project has raised many eyebrows. To the community coalition, Protect the Planet Stop TMX (PPST), this latest order reinforces the belief that this Crown corporation is systemically failing to implement basic standards. With support from West Coast Environmental Law, PPST intends to hold TMX accountable in the courts for its violations, particularly to species and ecosystems.

On Thursday June 3, 2021, the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) issued an order that restricts clearing activities across the project - specifically tree clearing and mowing. CER is the agency that enforces safety and environmental guidelines for all Canadian pipeline projects. Although the timing coincides with the discovery by community volunteers on Tuesday of a chickadee nest on an active TMX construction site, Trans Mountain denies this, stating "the regulator's order was issued after a subcontractor started tree cutting and mowing activities without completing the necessary environmental compliance work". We believe this is another way of saying: without checking for the presence of active nests.

For more information, download the PDF.


Press Release: March 25, 2021

photo by Diane Lake
photo by Diane Lake

Hummingbirds Put Pipeline on Pause

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (BURNABY, BC) - One of the world's smallest birds may have found a way to stop the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline. On Tuesday March 23, two Anna's Hummingbird nests were confirmed in the woodland corridor of the Brunette River watershed in an area slated to be clear cut for Trans Mountain pipeline construction. Measuring just 4cm diameter, these tiny nests must be protected with a 30 m buffer until the baby birds can fly. This effectively closes the window for construction through significant riparian areas until at least May 1st. A group of local birders are concerned, however, because tree cutting has taken place within 4m of one of the nests, and cutting is ongoing.

Amature birders spotted the nests after noticing anxious hummingbirds. They say many of these beautiful and tiny birds are present because the forest includes an understory of salmonberries - and the nectar of those signature early spring pink flowers is a favorite food of hummers; males will fiercely defend a territory of blooms on behalf of his family.

"Spring is so obviously here" says Sara Ross, one of the nest-finders and also a Burnaby Mother."Leaves are opening and birds are singing all around - a sign that they may well be on nesting territory. Yet as of today TransMountain is still cutting trees." 

For more information, download the PDF and the Stop Work Order from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Stop Work Order from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)

Statement from Environment and Climate Change Canada - received by the Community Nest Finding Network. (ECCC) enforcement officers are responsible for the enforcement of several pieces of wildlife conservation legislation including the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. The purpose of that Act is to protect individual migratory birds, their nests and migratory bird populations and this purpose is achieved by regulating potentially harmful human activities that may impact them.


Press Release: March 15, 2021

Person Injured by TMX Security, Arrested After Locking Onto TMX-Tree-Cutting Tank

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (BURNABY, BC) - Several land defenders risked arrest at dawn today, as part of their duty to protect the environment for future generations and wildlife. One man peacefully locked his body onto a tank-like machine with 30 ft metal tracks,used to cut trees as part of the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline constructionproject. Shortly after 7:30am security discovered him locked to the equipment. Five or more private security guards working for Trans Mountain violently assaulted him by attempting to remove him from the equipment (video available). The extent of his injuries remains to be seen. Today marks the beginning of the most active bird nesting season according to a City of Burnaby memo.

Trans Mountain Canada began cutting trees in the Brunette River corridor two weeks ago using a tank-like machine. The tree clearing started after Canada Energy Regulator overruled Burnaby's municipal by-laws to protect urban forest and park-land. In spite of municipal laws, and in contravention of legislation to protect riparian ecosystems, work has been progressing, with land defenders agitating at the edge of the injunction zone.

For more information, download the PDF.