Photo credit - Donna Clark
Photo credit - Donna Clark

Photo credit - Ocean Shagor

For Immediate Release: October 3, 2022

Secwepemc Hereditary Chief and Secwepemc Matriarch Among Four to Begin

Week-long Contempt Trial Today

Water Protectors Arrested for Opposing the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion in 2020 Face Jail Time

Unceded Secwepemc territory (Kamloops, BC) - Today, four water protectors will begin their week-long trial at 10am. They include Secwepemc Hereditary Chief Sawses; Secwepemc matriarch April Thomas from hereditary blood lines of the snare tribe; Billie Pierre from the Nlaka'pamux Nation; and Senior Environmental Engineer, Romilly Cavanaugh, former Trans Mountain employee. The water protectors are being tried for criminal contempt of court and each of them face jail time. The four were arrested two years ago in October 2020 near Trans Mountain Pipeline's construction sites in Secwepemcúl'ecw beside Sqeq'petsin (The Thompson River). This will be the first time the Crown has tried members of the Secwepemc Nation for criminal contempt for opposing the pipeline in their own territory.

The Secwepemc Nation has not been consulted and has never given consent for the Canadian Federal Government's Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) to proceed and cross waterways that are the lifeblood of the Secwepemc Nation. Once teeming with wild salmon and now experiencing the lowest run numbers since records have been kept, the toll that industry and unchecked development is having on Secwepemc Territories is increasingly more evident.

As a result of the lowered count number and the lack of appropriate Nation to Nation relationship between Canada and the Secwepemc, a sacred fire was lit in October 2020 and an invitation for meeting and discussion was offered to all involved parties. Instead of meeting with the Nation, the RCMP were deployed and on two separate occasions, while ceremony was being conducted, brutally arrested Indigenous Women and Elder Hereditary Chief Saw-ses.

Four additional water protectors arrested in Secwepemc territory on a different date in October 2020 are scheduled to go to trial for criminal contempt starting December 12, 2022.

"Secwepemc laws and authority supersede Canada's laws. The Secwepemc have never ceded, surrendered, sold, or signed away our lands and waters," said April Thomas. "Canada is in a conflict of interest regarding Trans Mountain Pipeline since it owns the company and also regulates it, while the BC court enforces an injunction to halt ceremony and quash peaceful protest against the pipeline expansion. Actions taken by Canada against the sovereign Secwepemc and Nlaka'pamux peoples for protecting our land and water are a continuation of Canada's genocide of Indigenous peoples," says Thomas.

"Why is the burden on us to prove to anyone, under threat of incarceration, why we were on our own territories conducting ceremony? Why have the Courts, the Province nor even the RCMP never had to prove their title and justification, legal or otherwise, for being here; for taking away and murdering our children; for polluting our waters and killing off our salmon?"

Hereditary Matriarch, Miranda Dick, says, "Indigenous People are the Canary in the Coal Mine when it comes to Raising Awareness of the Climate Crisis. This Pipeline has caused undue Hardship to Our People. The destruction of trees, wildfire, and floods cause further displacement."

Billie Pierre, from the Nlaka'pamux Nation, says, "I went to Sqeq'petsin in 2020 because where I'm from, our fish catches have dwindled since the Mt Polly tailings rupture in 2014. Whatever happens upstream impacts us. People used to be able to catch 100 salmon a year, and now often don't get any at all. Trans Mountain Pipeline laid out spawning deterrent mats years ago, and last month was drilled near Hope BC during a salmon spawn".

Photos: All by Ocean Shagor

For more information, download the full PDF below.



Media Advisory September 16, 2022 

March and Rally to Protect Stoney Creek from the New Trans Mountain Pipeline and Celebrate Watch House Elder Jim Leyden's 70th Birthday

Protect the Planet, Climate Convergence, Mountain Protectors, and BROKE* Rally to Oppose New Tar Sands Infrastructure. Anjali Appadurai, Climate Champion and NDP Leadership Candidate to speak.

Stoney Creek
Stoney Creek

xwməθkwəy̓ə m (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/ Burnaby, BC - The revived salmon-bearing Stoney Creek in Burnaby is slated to be crossed by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) Project. Saturday, several groups will march and rally to protect this beloved spot, and to kick-off a fall offensive aimed at halting the TMX project and expansion of the Alberta tar sands. Speakers at the rally include Anjali Appadurai, NDP Leadership Candidate and Climate Champion, Squamish Elder Robert Nahanne and Indigenous salmon teacher, Tim Henry. There will be music, banners and a chance to visit one of the last remaining salmon streams on Burnaby Mountain.

When and Where: Saturday, September 17th. Pre-rally birthday celebration at 1:30pm (9110 Avalon Ave., Burnaby). Rally at 2:30pm (8765 Government St., Burnaby). 

In addition to TMX's wanton disregard for endangered species and habitat, the project is continuing to spend billions of taxpayer dollars every year with completion dates pushed into the future. To meet Canada's climate commitments to the United Nations we must shrink emissions from the oil and gas sector, not increase them. "New funding for fossil fuel exploration and production infrastructure is delusional. Fossil fuels are not the answer".

For more information, see the PDF Media Advisory below.


For Immediate Release: September 12, 2022

"Human-caused wildfire" near Trans Mountain worksite raises questions, watchdog calls for investigation

Unceded Nłeʔkepmx Tmíxʷ (Nlaka'pamux), S'ólh (Stó:lō) and Stz'uminus Territory (Hope, BC) - Southern BC's last days of summer were clouded by thick smoke from an "out of control" wildfire. The Flood Falls Wildfire is suspected to be human-caused. Protect the Planet is calling for an investigation into Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline as possible cause.

The Flood Falls Wildfire rages behind Trans Mountain's pipe storage area at Laidlaw. Image: Protect the Planet

The Flood Falls Wildfire was discovered southwest of Hope on Thursday Sept. 8 and was soon declared out of control. By Sunday, it had grown to 458 hectares and enlisted 54 BC Wildfire Service firefighters, the Hope Fire Department and six helicopters. The blaze is on a steep forested slope above construction for the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline. See video. The fire was suspected to be human-caused from the start.

Rod Marining, Chair of BC Environmental Network, said, "Whenever I've stopped by a TMX worksite, there are always people smoking cigarettes. Given the proximity of the fire to an active TMX work site, Trans Mountain should be investigated as a potential cause of this wildfire". Research conducted by the University of the Fraser Valley in 2019 concluded that "cigarettes were the primary cause of fires in BC and Alberta."

Dr. Kate Tairyan of Protect the Planet, who lives in Hope, said, "On two occasions on Saturday, we passed by the Floods area (off Highway 1) and both times we saw excavators and other equipment being moved off site (see video). It's ironic that Trans Mountain is feeling the heat, given this pipeline will exacerbate and lock us into irreversible climate change."

You can download the PDF below.


For Immediate Release: August 30, 2022

Local environmental groups fighting to save a sensitive wetland near Bridal Veil Falls

Unceded Xwchiyo:m (Cheam) Stol:o Territory (Chilliwack, BC) - In an effort to save a small but important wetland, three local environmental groups are once again requesting that the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) reverse an earlier decision that permits Trans Mountain (TM) to install the pipeline through the wetland. In order to preserve the environments for the many important species that currently live and thrive in the wetlands, the groups have requested that the CER order TM to install the pipeline under, not through, this delicate terrain. See the Notice of Motion here.

Trans Mountain has denied a request from these environmental groups to allow independent biologists into the wetland to document species at risk in the area. The groups' lawyer, Ian Moore, made the request in writing several weeks ago. "This seems like a cover-up by Trans Mountain", said Peter Vranjkovic of Protect the Planet (PtP). "While they claim to have all the important information, we found several errors and inconsistencies in their environmental plan and have requested that independent biologists go to the site and investigate the discrepancies."

The three groups hired two biologists who were able to provide feedback without actually going into the wetland. The first biologist, Aimee Mitchell provided a report showing that there are several important species either federally "Threatened" or "Endangered" in the Critical Habitat located in Bridal Falls and the connected waterways: Coastal Giant Salamander, Barn Owl, Pacific Water Shrew, Oregon Forestsnail and the Roell's brotherella Moss. In addition to these species, the Red-legged Frog and Coastal Tailed Frog, both designated federally as "Special Concern", were also sighted.

The second independent biologist observed an abundance of birds in and around the wetland, including woodpeckers, western tanagers and juvenile house finches. Sofi Hindmarch noted that "the wetland has several larger snags with cavities suitable for woodpeckers and smaller owls, such as pygmy, saw-whet and Western screech-owls. The open grassy areas within the wetland are also suitable as barn owl hunting habitat. Overall, the habitat in this wetland is of high value to migrating and residential birds".

The value of this small area is even more crucial now that the neighbouring lands have been clearcut. In addition to nesting birds and amphibians, the area also has mature trees and rare species of plants, all crucial to threatened barn owls and other birds.

Media Resources:

Images and video footage available at this link.

For more information, see the PDF of the Press Release below.


For Immediate Release August 11, 2022

Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction threatens spawning salmon

Unceded Nłeʔkepmx Tmíxʷ (Nlaka'pamux), S'ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō) and Stz'uminus Territory (Hope, BC) - BC wild salmon are being harmed by pipeline construction near Hope. Normally the run is a wondrous sight, but today Hope residents and local First Nations are horrified that the salmon-bearing Coquihalla River has heavy machinery and industrial pumps in the river, while an early run of spawning salmon is blocked by the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline project. Many fish found dead at the site had eggs in their bellies.

Bob Chamberlain, Chair of First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance told City News, "I thought we were well past having machinery operating in a river when salmon were going by". Aerial footage submitted to Protect the Planet clearly captures the many fish trying to pass through the TMX obstruction. See drone footage.

The salmon run may be early this year, but the fish remains an important icon of life in the province, and at the centre of Indigenous cultures. MPs, Ministers and Trans Mountain are being asked why this work is happening now. Protect the Planet has invited fisheries Minister Joyce Murray and other representatives to meet with a delegation of concerned First Nations and citizen representatives next week on the river in Hope.

In an open letter to Ministers Murray, Wilkinson, Guilbeault and Miller, four BC MPs, Barron, Kwan, Julian and Zarrillo expressed their concerns and called to, "intervene and halt construction of the TMX pipeline expansion at a minimum until the salmon have spawned and the salmon run is safely complete. The future health of wild Pacific salmon species and Pacific ecosystems, and the human, animal, and plant life they support, may depend on your actions in this."

Since Protect the Planet first alerted the Department of Fisheries (DFO) and Oceans on August 1, the Coquihalla River has been obstructed by heavy machinery in the river at the construction site and the water turned from crystal clear to muddy brown. DFO officers responded to Protect the Planet and residents' alerts after a week of work had passed and DFO biologists were reported to have visited the site on August 9, only after Trans Mountain intensified its in-water work on a Sunday, August 7. Dr. Takaro, an SFU professor emeritus in environmental health noted, "I described to the DFO officer Aug. 1st the urgency of the destruction at the pipeline crossing site. Why did it take a week for the first officer from Chilliwack to arrive?"

After visiting the site on August 10, 2022, Cedar George-Parker of Tsleil-Waututh First Nation said, "The sacred salmon are the latest victims in the Trans Mountain Pipeline's path of oppression and destruction. All 300 members of my nation oppose this pipeline because we are taught to protect the water and land of our territories. We are speaking for those who don't have a voice: for the eagles, for the salmon, for the orca whales - because our survival depends on their survival. "

Photo, video, & social media content

For drone footage of destruction here.

See also videos and photos here

For more information, see the PDF of the Press Release below.

Also see below the Open Letter to Ministers Murray, Wilkinson, Guilbeault and Miller, from four BC MPs, Barron, Kwan, Julian and Zarrillo expressing their concerns and calling for the Ministers to, "intervene and halt construction of the TMX pipeline expansion at a minimum until the salmon have spawned and the salmon run is safely complete." 


 For immediate release, August 4, 2022

Dead salmon at Trans Mountain worksite on Coquihalla River spurs calls for DFO to intervene

Dead Salmon near Trans Mountain yellow pump launching site
Dead Salmon near Trans Mountain yellow pump launching site

Unceded Chawathil Stó:lō Territory (Hope, BC). In what appears to be an early salmon run on the Coquihalla River, dead fish are showing up adjacent to Trans Mountain's in-stream work in the river, about 3 kilometers from its confluence with the Fraser. Local resident Dr. Kate Tairyan photographed the dead salmon beside the Trans Mountain (TM) worksite near her home on August 1-3, 2022. Exploring other parts of the river revealed live salmon swimming upstream, but few seemed able to swim past the TM worksite.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) only gave Trans Mountain a permit under the Fisheries Act to begin work in the river on August 1, 2022. However, TM had been working near the river for the past several months, cutting trees and clearing vegetation, working part of that time with an expired permit.

"It looks like the salmon are early this year. DFO Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray needs to intervene and order Trans Mountain to suspend its in-stream work until the migrating salmon have made it through", said Dr. Tim Takaro of Protect the Planet and a professor emeritus at SFU. This part of the Coquihalla River is an important migratory corridor for five species of salmon as well as steelhead trout. "The water levels are suitable for spawning salmon right now therefore this is the time for DFO to act to protect the salmon run", said Dr. Takaro.

The DFO permit issued to TM allows the company to divert the river and to remove 800 square meters of instream spawning habitat.

"It's very unusual to see so many dead salmon in Coquihalla this early in the spawning season", said Dr. Tairyan. "I am appalled that Trans Mountain is granted permissions to carry forward with cutting a trench in the stream in an area so drastically altered by the devastating flooding of Nov 2021", she continued.

Trans Mountain is working in the area to replace part of its existing pipeline as well as install its new larger pipeline. The new pipeline will cross the Coquihalla River in multiple locations, several of which were washed out last year exposing the old pipe.

Images and videos for media access here.

You can also find these select videos on our YouTube site. 

Salmon full of eggs dying before spawning at the Trans Mountain river crossing construction site here.

Dead salmon at the Trans Mountain pipeline construction site, Coquilhalla crossing here.

More dead salmon by the Trans Mountain pipeline construction site, Coquilhalla crossing here

Migrating salmon blocked passage at Trans Mountain pipeline construction site, Coquihalla River here.

For more information, download the full PDF below.


For Immediate Release: July 18, 2022

Public groups confront Trans Mountain over environmental destruction near Bridal Veil Falls Park

Unceded Xwchiyo:m (Cheam) Stol:o Territory (Chilliwack, BC) - A Notice of Motion is being prepared for Canada Energy Regulator (CER) regarding illegal habitat destruction for the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline. In early June, several environmental groups joined forces to protect the sensitive area around Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park; a red-breasted sapsucker nest stopped work.

Three groups have united to protect sensitive wildlife habitat around Bridal Falls. The Pipe Up Network (Pipe Up) is based in the Fraser Valley, while the Community Nest Finding Network and Protect the Planet are based in Metro Vancouver.

The Pipe Up Network (Pipe Up) is preparing a Notice of Motion identifying how the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), formerly National Energy Board, is not properly enforcing the Conditions and laws permitting the pipeline expansion. Over the last 10 years, three Auditor General reports (1, 2, 3) have confirmed failures in enforcement by CER. By submitting a Notice of Motion, PIPE UP places these incidents on the public record.

According to Lynn Perrin of Pipe Up, "This small area is important for wildlife and people, and its value is even more crucial now that the neighbouring lands were clearcut. In addition to nesting birds, the wetlands are home to amphibians such as the threatened coastal giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus). The area also has mature trees and rare species of plants, all crucial to threatened barn owls and other birds."

Peter Vranjkovic of Protect the Planet said, "This spring, Trans Mountain's contractors cleared an area full of migratory and nesting birds. This work was in contravention of legislation protecting migratory birds and species at risk. I filed a complaint with the CER about this on July 4th, but am not optimistic anything will change due to the conflict of interest. The pipeline is owned by the same people who control CER."

The same contractors intended to clear an area between South Popkum Road and the Bridal Falls Forest Service Road in early June. A local resident stopped the work out of concern for the active bird nests, and then brought in the Community Nest Finding Network (CNFN) to help further. After CNFN located and documented active bird nests, a biologist was brought in to confirm their presence, thus pausing work until the young birds fledge.

Sara Ross of CNFN, said, "It appears that Trans Mountain's biologists are either given insufficient time to find nests and protect wildlife, or they are not motivated to find anything. Every time the CNFN has been on a Trans Mountain site immediately prior to tree-felling, we have discovered nests where they are about to cut (or where they are already cutting). The most famous incident occurred on April 12th 2021, when an Environment Canada Officer witnessed the destruction of a hummingbird nest by Trans Mountain contractors."

In the June 2022 incident, without notice to local residents, Trans Mountain contractors arrived and began swiftly clearing a wide swath of land east of the Forest Service Road. As mentioned, logging was halted by a concerned landowner and by CNFN. Lynn Perrin, who has been monitoring Trans Mountain for years, said, "This is yet another willful violation not only of environmental regulation, but also of the conditions Trans Mountain agreed to as part of the approval of the Expansion project."

The groups are concerned that Trans Mountain has not followed all the environmental conditions under which the project was considered, with further concern that the CER has not been more assertive in enforcing those conditions. They have requested for the consideration of options that will spare trees, habitat and wildlife, such as rerouting the new pipeline around the area or using horizontal directional drilling. At minimum, the groups are calling for a complete halt of tree cutting during peak nesting season.

In addition to the above, a grant from West Coast Environmental Law is supporting three individuals from the groups to hire an environmental lawyer, Ian Moore, in order to consider legal options for saving the remaining habitat.

Media Resources: images and video footage available at this link (https://mega.nz/folder/MY9GgZ6b#FeIFwuIGK7yPBGUIJUpmsA)

Background Resources:

Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Dec. 2011. Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Ch1: Transportation of Dangerous Products.

Canada Energy Regulator public record, Intervenor submissions from Pro Information Pro Environment United People Network 

For more information, see the full PDF below. 

Also please check out Birds on the Frontline here


For Immediate Release: June 22, 2022

Contact Sara Ross • 778-898-0464 • redsara@gmail.com

Another Active Bird Nest Stops TMX Pipeline: Red-breasted Sapsucker Halts Construction near Chilliwack, B.C.

Unceded Xwchiyo:m (Cheam) Stol:o Territory (Chilliwack, BC) - For the second year in a row an active bird nest dramatically halts construction on the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline. On Monday June 6th, work stopped near Bridal Falls because of an active Red-breasted Sapsucker nest found by the Community Nest Finding Network - and missed by Trans Mountain.

On June 6, 2022, a family of red-breasted sapsuckers gave pipeline opponents reason to celebrate a memorable anniversary. A year ago, the Community Nest Finding Network (CNFN) had worked with Anna's hummingbirds and black-capped chickadees to effectively stop construction for several months on the TMX pipeline. Under the Federal Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA), active bird nests are protected, and may not be damaged or threatened

Early this month, the bird protection group CNFN responded to a call from a resident near Chilliwack concerned that TMX was tree clearing during nesting season, while hundreds of birds were nesting in the forest. CNFN investigated and documented an obvious and easily-visible red-breasted sapsucker nest, as well as several other species of nesting pairs. CNFN co-founder, Sara Ross, said, "Trans Mountain will try to deny that anything unusual happened here, but we have video and audio footage of their contractors first telling us they were going to cut, and then telling us that they had stopped work because they'd been alerted to the nests. They were onsite to clearcut this forest, but on Monday morning we stopped them again. This sapsucker mama stopped them with our help."

She continued "It is shocking that Trans Mountain biologists failed to locate or report these nests. Every time that the CNFN has investigated a Trans Mountain site just before the chainsaws, we have discovered nests about to be destroyed. The corporate methodology of so-called "nest sweeps" used to locate nests clearly doesn't work."

Ross concluded, "If Trans Mountain is not finding active nests like this easy-to-see sapsucker nest then they should not be allowed to cut trees in peak nesting season." Like other woodpeckers, sapsuckers are important ecosystem engineers. According to Cornell Lab's All About Birds website: "Sapsuckers are important members of their ecosystems, because many species of insects, birds, and mammals use the sapwells to supplement their own diets."

Accompanying the CNFN onsite, Xwchiyo:m-Stol:o Matriarch Denise Douglas and Indigenous Matriarch Cynthia Myran were ready to harvest traditional plants. "The medicine plants are so rich. They should not be wasted or destroyed" says Myran. Douglas expressed concern for the native red squirrels living in the forest. "They've only recently returned to the area and they have babies so cutting trees now is not right."

Stol:o Elder & Wild Salmon Warrior, Eddie Gardner welcomed the CNFN, "We Stol:o are people of the 'Fraser River' and this pipeline threatens our main traditional food source, wild salmon, as well as for all Indigenous peoples up & down this River." The new TMX pipeline was sold as a 'twinning' but is actually a double-wide clearcut that crosses thousands ofwaterways over 1150 km of unceded Indigenous land. 

Work will remain stopped until the young sapsuckers, and baby birds from other documented nests, can fledge.

CNFN co-founder, Donna Clark, said, "We demand a halt to active felling and clearing activities until after the migratory bird nesting season is completed. Bird nests are federallyprotected under the MBCA. Our position aligns with best practices recommended by Environment and Climate Change Canada, that Trans Mountain should not be cutting any trees in the nesting season, which lasts well into August in Coastal areas. More to the point, Trans Mountain's due diligence is a sham and they shouldn't be allowed to cut trees in the height of nesting season."

To follow up, CNFN submitted their Nest Finding Report and is filing a Notice of Motion, an official form of complaint within the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) filings system. CER regulates the operations and construction of pipelines. TMX has 156 environmental & other conditions that it must comply with, and not disturbing nests is part of that.

Who is the Community Nest Finding Network (CNFN)?

The Community Nest Finding Network is a group of birders and concerned citizen scientists who united in 2021 out of concern for nesting birds in forests of Burnaby that were slated for destruction by the TMX pipeline. They use a rigorous methodology, based on best practices as recommended by Environment and Climate Change Canada, where the emphasis is onnon-invasive observations over relatively long periods of time.

You can find more information about how to get photographs, a video, as well as information from Facebook, Instagram and a list of Background Resources in the PDF below.


For Immediate Release June 15, 2022

CONTACT: Christine Thuring 604-725-4964 cthuring@protonmail.ch

Physician, Public Health Expert, SFU Professor, and Tree-Sitter Tim Takaro Sentenced Today to 30 Days in Jail, Taken Into Custody

Supporters Question Why Pipeline Opponents Are Criminalized While Extractive Industry and Government Avoid Accountability for Climate Crisis

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/ Vancouver, BC - Physician, public health expert, and Simon Fraser University health sciences professor emeritus Tim Takaro, 65, was sentenced today to 30 days in jail by BC Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick. Takaro was promptly handcuffed and taken into custody in a courtroom packed with supporters.

Takaro was arrested in November 2021 while engaged in a tree-sit along the Brunette River in Burnaby, protesting construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) and the clear-cutting of trees in the area. Takaro's sentencing hearing was preceded by a press conference and lively rally in his support.

Takaro-along with more than 250 people before him-was charged with criminal contempt for violating the TMX injunction, imposed in March 2018. Takaro's stiff sentence is part of the Crown's strategy to deter him and others from further violating the injunction. Arrests of pipeline opponents have slowed since 2018, but started to pick up again in the last year.

"The real climate criminals are the federal and provincial governments for not taking decisive action to reduce fossil energy infrastructure and ignoring the urgency of the climate crisis," said Takaro. "The government needs to take the climate crisis seriously to keep people from dying, instead of shamelessly going after the people who are fighting to keep our planet healthy and safe for generations to come."

Takaro is part of the Brunette River 6, six land defenders who were all arrested in the Brunette River area of Burnaby for defying the TMX injunction. All five of Takaro's co-defendants pleaded guilty to criminal contempt in February and were sentenced to between 14 and 21 days in jail.

Another land defender, Errol Povah, 69, is facing 60 days in jail and is scheduled to be sentenced by Justice Fitzpatrick on Thursday, June 16 at 9am. Povah was arrested in the same vicinity as the Brunette River 6 in March 2021 while locking down to heavy equipment, in violation of the TMX injunction, and was convicted of criminal contempt at his trial in January.

The Crown has also been targeting Indigenous land defenders, the latest of which was Tsleil-Waututh member Will George. Although he was never arrested, George was charged with criminal contempt in January 2021 and convicted at trial in October. George was sentenced to 28 days in jail last month, but was released on bail shortly after being taken into custody due to his pending appeal.

"Canada is presenting itself as a leader on climate change and health, but where the rubber meets the road, it is increasing emissions from the Alberta tarsands and jailing one of its foremost climate and health leaders-medical professional and health researcher Dr. Tim Takaro-who is calling for a halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure," said Global Climate & Health Alliance director Jeni Miller. "The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is incompatible with a healthy, sustainable future, and jailing those who try to hold governments accountable is incompatible with the democratic principles Canada purports to represent."

"The laws must be changed to fit our times," continued Takaro. "Parliament has declared a climate emergency, but industry has weaponized the courts to do its bidding, and today's laws make climate chaos inevitable."

See the full release in the PDF below.

You can see a video of Dr. Takaro making his sentencing statement here. A PDF of the written statement is below.


For Immediate Release June 13, 2022 

Physician, Public Health Expert, SFU Professor, and Tree-Sitter Faces 28 Days in Jail at June 13 Sentencing Hearing

Rally and Press Conference Planned for Tim Takaro, Arrested in Defiance of Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/ Vancouver, BC - A sentencing hearing for physician, public health expert, and Simon Fraser University health sciences professor emeritus Tim Takaro, 65, will take place on Monday, June 13 at 10am in the BC Supreme Court.

Takaro was arrested in November 2021 while engaged in a tree-sit along the Brunette River in Burnaby, protesting construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) and the clear-cutting of trees in the area. Takaro's sentencing hearing will be preceded by a 9:15am press conference and lively rally in his support, held at the corner of Hornby & Nelson Streets at the courthouse entrance.

What: Sentencing hearing, press conference, and rally for Tim Takaro.

When: Monday, June 13-press conf at 9:15am, sentencing hearing at 10am.

Where: BC Supreme Court, 800 Smithe St (Hornby & Nelson Street entrance).

Takaro-along with more than 250 people before him-was charged with criminal contempt for violating the TMX injunction, imposed in March 2018. Takaro is expected to plead guilty and faces 28 days in jail as part of the Crown's strategy to deter him and others from further violating the injunction. Arrests of pipeline opponents have slowed since 2018, but started to pick up again in the last year.

For more information, see the PDF below. 


Op Ed in The Star June 10, 2022

Trans Mountain pipeline protester Tim Takaro should not do jail time

Takaro is an expert on the public health impacts of climate change. His potential sentence reflects the absurd predicament Canada finds itself in. You can read the full article here.


Press Release for Immediate Release: May 10, 2022

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.

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.

See the PDF below.


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.

Op Ed, The Province April 14, 2022

Dr. Linda Thyer: Physicians' moral actions for public well-being considered criminal

Opinion: Public health physician and scientist Dr. Tim Takaro was arrested while quietly sitting in a tree earmarked for felling in the construction of TMX. He joins physician colleagues who have also committed such "crimes" while upholding the modern Hippocratic Oath to protect the health of our patients and the public.

For more information, see The Province Op Ed here.


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.