SFU Prof. Tim Takaro called by RCMP after taking photos near Kinder Morgan site
Climate change scientist had been taking photos on a trail near a Kinder Morgan work site
A B.C. climate change scientist says he got an "intimidating" call from RCMP because he had taken pictures on Burnaby Mountain near the site of a proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline.
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Tim Takaro, a health sciences professor at SFU, says he was having lunch in Tofino with his family on Wednesday when his daughter's cellphone rang.
When she answered it, she was told it was the Burnaby RCMP calling and they were looking for her father.
"I was very upset that he had called my daughter and that he was basically threatening, intimidating on the phone," says Takaro.
He says the officer asked him if he had recently had been taking photos near a Trans Mountain pipeline work site on Burnaby Mountain. They also told him they knew he had been to protest rallies that had taken place there a few months earlier.
A few days before, Takaro says he had been taking photographs along the Burnaby Mountain conservation trails when a guard at the nearby work site approached him and told him he couldn't take any photos.
'Nerve-wracking' phone call
Takaro says the phone call was "nerve-wracking," especially in light of the Conservative government's push to pass Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act. The bill mentions "activity that undermines the security of Canada,” which includes "the economic or financial stability of Canada."
"To me this says that any peaceful blockade or environmentalist obstructing a pipeline could be seen as a threat to national security, so this whole thing has me very nervous," says Takaro.
CBC contacted Burnaby RCMP about the incident, who said they could not comment on this case in particular, but that it is required by law to investigate any complaints that come in, especially ones related to infrastructure or security issues.
Last September a 71 year-old woman was similarly questioned for taking photos of the site, which she was doing to prepare for an upcoming National Energy Board hearing.
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: SFU professor questioned by RCMP for taking photos on Burnaby Mountain