British Columbia

'Protesting Grandpa' arrested in snorkel gear after entering Trans Mountain terminal from water

The self-described "Protesting Grandpa" is once again in police custody following an apparent attempt to hang a protest banner from a barge at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., early Wednesday morning.

Terry Christenson, 71, breaches court injunction, arrested for 3rd time protesting pipeline expansion

Protester Terry Christenson during his treetop sit-in protest at Westridge Marine Terminal in April. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The self-described "Protesting Grandpa" is once again in police custody following an apparent attempt to hang a protest banner from a barge at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., early Wednesday morning.

In an emailed statement, Burnaby RCMP said, a 71-year-old man allegedly entered the facility at the foot of Burnaby Mountain — the western terminus of the Trans Mountain pipeline — from the water, wearing a snorkel and mask, at around 3:50 a.m. PT. 

RCMP said the man was arrested after breaching a court-ordered injunction that says protesters must not come within five metres of a Trans Mountain site.

A media release from environmental campaign group Stand.earth identified the 71-year-old as Terry Christenson, the "Protesting Grandpa."

"Ontario resident Terry Christenson was arrested as he attempted to scale a construction crane on a barge at the Westridge Marine Terminal and hang a banner that reads "No Tankers," said the release, which said it had been sent on Christenson's behalf.

The Westridge Marine Terminal is the western terminus of the Trans Mountain pipeline. (Paul Haavardsrud/CBC)

Other arrests

Christenson has been arrested twice before while protesting the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

In March, he was arrested after camping out in a tree on Burnaby Mountain for 16 hours.

On April 29, he climbed 30 metres into a tree on the Westridge Marine Terminal property and was arrested as he came down from the large cottonwood almost 36 hours later.

Christenson is facing one charge of criminal contempt for his actions Wednesday, and was expected to appear in B.C. Supreme Court later that day.

Last month, the federal government approved construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for the second time, after the Federal Court of Appeal overturned its initial approval in August 2018.

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