British Columbia

Police in cherry picker remove, arrest anti-pipeline tree-sitter in Burnaby

Protestors opposed to tree clearing and pipeline construction have been occupying trees at Trans Mountain worksites in the area since last year.

The man was safely removed with the assistance of officers specialized in high-angle rescue, say Burnaby RCMP

Burnaby RCMP after extracting a tree sitter from a TMX pipeline construction site in Burnaby. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Police used a white cherry picker to extract and arrest a tree sitter Wednesday for breaching an existing court- ordered injunction at the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion worksite near North Road and Highway 1.

The man was suspended 15 metres in a tree in protest of the pipeline.

According to Burnaby RCMP, he was safely removed with the assistance of officers specialized in high-angle rescue.

Anti-pipeline activists have been occupying trees at TMX worksites in the area since last year in an effort to stop tree clearing for pipeline construction.

The group Protect the Planet Stop TMX said police arrived at the Lost Creek site this morning with a crane capable of reaching the tree sit referred to as "Skypod 1."

Police used a crane to extract an anti-pipeline activist from a tree sit. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"The land defenders oppose destruction of this urban forest, and are calling for climate leadership in cancelling the TMX and ending the expansion of tar sands," the group said in a statement. 

The TMX expansion project will twin the existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline, increasing the amount of petroleum it carries from Alberta to the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.

Aerial view of a tree sit at a TMX pipeline construction site in Burnaby. (Submitted by Save the Planet Stop TMX)

The project has been contested by several groups including Indigenous activists, environmental organizations and municipal governments. 

Burnaby RCMP said its members have been on scene assisting BNSF railway police with enforcing the injunction.

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