British Columbia

Members of pipeline protest camp want to meet with City of Burnaby over eviction notice

Members of Camp Cloud, a protest encampment located near Kinder Morgan's Burnaby Mountain tank farm, would like to meet with officials from the city of Burnaby.

Camp says it is open to discussing safety concerns with the city

Camp Cloud is an assortment of semi-permanent structures in the Forest Grove neighbourhood of Burnaby, B.C. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Members of Camp Cloud, a protest encampment located near Kinder Morgan's Burnaby Mountain tank farm, would like to meet with officials from the city of Burnaby.

They want to discuss an eviction notice the city served them last week, which required the immediate dismantling of all structures at the camp by 6 a.m. Saturday.

 "I hope to get alliance out of the City of Burnaby that we can refocus our energies toward the real problem. Camp Cloud is not a problem," said Camp Cloud spokeswoman Kwitsel Tatel.

Tatel, who is a member of the Coast Salish Nation, says she is open to discussing safety concerns the city might have with her camp, but that Camp Cloud will not be moved or dismantled.

"I'm willing to live up to the compliance of safety for all and I believe that is what we're doing," said Tatel.

Camp Cloud protesters say they will not leave despite having been handed an eviction notice. (Nic Amaya/CBC)

The city says many structures and activities at the camp, which has grown from its humble beginnings as a single trailer parked on the side of the road, pose serious safety concerns including a newly constructed two-storey, wooden structure and a continually burning fire.

Tatel says the sacred fire is a place of prayer for camp dwellers and is protected by section 2A, freedom of religion, of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"We're here as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow. Our sacred fire will not be interfered with by Canada," said Tatel.

City open to dialogue with Camp Cloud

The CBC contacted Burnaby city manager Lambert Chu who said "the meeting was requested by Camp Cloud and I have not been given a copy of the meeting agenda. The City is prepared to listen to Camp Cloud about their next steps."

In a news release dated the day the eviction letter was delivered, Chu said the city has no problem with peaceful protest but not at the expense of public safety.

He says the city has tried to work with the camp to address safety concerns, but it was unwilling to co-operate.

For Tatel, the dispute with the city is drawing attention away from the larger target, halting the Trans Mountain expansion, a project both Camp Cloud and the City of Burnaby oppose. To remedy that, she is extending Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan an invitation.

"You say you oppose the destruction and further genocide of our water, Derek Corrigan, I challenge you to come and stand with Camp Cloud," said Tatel.

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