Camp Cloud protesters move toward standoff with City of Burnaby, RCMP
After ignoring order to take down camp, Kinder Morgan protesters reiterate they have no intention of leaving
Camp Cloud occupants and the City of Burnaby appear to be one step closer to a standoff after the protesters ignored a court-imposed deadline of Sunday night to dismantle and leave the camp.
"Unfortunately, the occupants have not left. We are now working in consultation with the RCMP to enforce the order," said Dipak Dattani, Burnaby's director of corporate services.
Dattani said although the city is still asking camp occupants to leave peacefully, it is possible they could be forcibly removed by RCMP.
"We hope it doesn't come to that," he said.
On Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gomery granted the city an injunction ordering all camp structures, shelters and vehicles be removed from outside the Kinder Morgan tank farm within 48 hours.
He also ordered a sacred fire burning in the camp be extinguished, primarily due to public safety concerns.
In a statement Monday, camp organizers restated their position that the court "does not have jurisdiction over Sacred Ceremonial Fires, structures and lands and water as removing the Sacred Fire would undermine Section 35 of Canada's Constitution Act which recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and treaty rights."
Camp Cloud started in November with a single trailer but has grown to include a two-storey wooden structure, a cabin, an outdoor shower, more than a dozen tents, and multiple vehicles and trailers.
Dattani said the camp's population ranges from "a few [people] to 10 or so."
"The structures are illegal and the fire — which is the biggest threat from our perspective — there's potential due to the dry conditions that there could be embers that leap onto clothing and materials around the fire, or the bush on the south side or the tank farm just beyond that," said Dattani. "So the threat is real."
In his ruling, Justice Gomery said peaceful protest is still permitted at the site as long as no structures are erected.
The protestors want to stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.