Alberta premier slammed over Greenpeace vow
A prominent Edmonton lawyer raised concerns Tuesday that Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is using his position to exert political influence over the judicial system and how it deals with Greenpeace activists.
After a Greenpeace occupation of Shell's upgrader site in Fort Saskatchewan over the weekend, Stelmach told reporters the protesters would be punished to the full extent of the law.
Sixteen activists were charged with breaking and entering and mischief as a result of the protest at Shell on Oct. 3
Beresh said Stelmach's comments hint at criminalizing peaceful environmentalism and raise issues about constitutional rights, political interference, free speech and the ability of activists to get fair trials in Alberta.
"Premier Stelmach's public suggestion that he will use the force of the law to deal with these people confirms his lack of knowledge of the limits of his authority and the clear rule that our system of justice cannot be interfered with or manipulated for political reasons," Beresh said.
Terrorism legislation raised
He said it's even more troubling that Solicitor General Fred Lindsay would speak to reporters about the same use of the justice system and raise "the T word" during the discussion.
Thirty-seven activists have been arrested in the past three weeks after taking part in three separate Greenpeace protests at upgrader sites.
"I am proud that all the activists were willing to stand up to big oil," said Mike Hudema, an activist with Greenpeace in Edmonton. "I just wish the premier and our world leaders would do the same."