British Columbia

71-year-old grandfather arrested after treetop protest near Trans Mountain pipeline terminal

Burnaby RCMP have arrested a 71-year-old man who spent 34 hours in a tree inside the Westridge Marine Terminal in protest of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

It's not the 1st time Terry Christenson has spent time in a tree to protest climate issues

Terry Christenson, the 71-year-old protester who climbed a tree on Westridge Marine Terminal property in Burnaby, gets arrested on Apr. 30, 2019 — the second day of his second tree sit-in. (Evan Tsuyoshi/CBC)

Burnaby RCMP have arrested a 71-year-old man who spent 34 hours in a tree inside the Westridge Marine Terminal in protest of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Terry Christenson, who was arrested for a similar protest in 2018, said in a written statement that he rappelled down on his own on Tuesday afternoon to ensure his own safety as well as that of the RCMP officers who had climbed the tree to arrest him.

RCMP said in a written statement that Christenson was arrested for breaching a court order stating demonstrators cannot come within five metres of the Trans Mountain site.

The Lower Mainland Integrated Emergency Response Team assisted in the arrest.

Christenson remains in custody and will appear in court on Wednesday morning.

Part of his demonstration was documented on his Twitter account under the nickname "protesting grandpa," where he posted that he knew he'd be arrested "one way or another."

"I'm doing this for my grandkids and all the grandchildren out there. I fear climate change more than jail," he wrote.

The Lower Mainland Integrated Emergency Response Team assisted in the arrest. (Evan Tsuyoshi/CBC)

Construction on twinning the Trans Mountain Pipeline is currently stalled as the government consults with First Nations communities on the project.

The project was approved in 2016, but the Federal Court of Appeal rescinded the decision in August 2018, citing the lack of adequate Indigenous consultation and an incomplete environmental review.

The federal government is set to make a final decision on the pipeline by June 18.

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