Two 11-year-old girls crossed a police line on Burnaby Mountain east of Vancouver on Sunday, joining about 50 other people who have violated a court order in an attempt to stop work at the Kinder Morgan work site.
The children were among about 100 anti-pipeline protesters who marched up Burnaby Mountain to oppose the proposed expansion of the company's Trans Mountain pipeline.
The mood was largely festive and non-confrontational as parents brought their children to the protest. They chanted "Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Kinder Morgan has got to go."
Eleven-year-old Kate showed up with her mom Kim and talked before the march about her plans to get arrested.
"I hate it," she said of the pipeline. "So I'm going to do more than just stand there and protest and get my picture taken. I'm going to duck under the police line today with my mom."
True to her word, Kate and her mom did duck under the police line along with a number of other protesters, including another 11-year-old girl. The mothers were arrested, but the girls were not. Police say they were "apprehended" and then released.
Police made several more arrests.
Environmentalist David Suzuki, who also hosts the CBC show The Nature of Things, was also at the protest, following the arrest of his grandson Tamo Campos at the site on Friday.
More than 50 anti-pipeline protesters have been arrested so far and most have been charged with civil contempt since police began arresting people Thursday morning for defying a court injunction to stay clear of Kinder Morgan's work site.
2 protesters face criminal charge
However, police say two protesters were arrested Friday night on criminal charges. One man was arrested for assault for spitting on police and the other was arrested for obstruction of justice for trying to interfere with the first arrest.
The company obtained a court injunction a week ago Friday to have protesters removed from the site, but police did not start enforcing it until Thursday morning.
Heavy machinery is now in place and Kinder Morgan says it is test drilling roughly 250 metres into the ground as part of its survey work for a proposed expanded pipeline.
Kinder Morgan is proposing to bore a tunnel under the mountain for the rerouting and expansion of its existing Trans Mountain pipeline.
Horizons Restaurant lays off 60 staff
Representatives of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project say the courts have ruled their crews have the right to conduct geotechnical survey work on the mountain and they intend to proceed.
In an emailed statement, Kinder Morgan says it is in the process of drilling roughly 15-centimetre test holes — work that will be conducted 24 hours a day over the next 10 to 12 days.
"Ultimately, if the project is approved, there will be no surface disturbance on Burnaby Mountain because the tunnel, at its deepest point, will be approximately 160 metres below surface," the company said in its statement.
Kinder Morgan says it is committed to minimizing any impacts, and restoring or compensating for any disturbance to Burnaby Mountain. The drilling is taking place in a City of Burnaby designated conservation area.
However, Horizons Restaurant, which is at the top of the mountain, says it has had to lay off 60 staff since police closed the road.
Kinder Morgan says it is aware of the impact of the protests on the restaurant.
"As part of Trans Mountain’s [Kinder Morgan] engagement ... we have reached out to the restaurant and will continue those discussions to understand the impacts and how they can be mitigated," said the company.