BURNABY, B.C. – The 71-year-old man who defied a court injunction and climbed a towering tree in Burnaby, B.C., to protest the Trans Mountain pipeline plans to end his day-long protest soon, but says more demonstrations will follow.
Terry Christenson says RCMP arrived at the base of the tree inside the Westridge Marine Terminal on Tuesday, advised him of his rights and explained they were prepared to climb the tree to arrest him.
Christenson says he staged a similar protest and was arrested last year at the height of rallies against plans to triple the capacity of bitumen through the pipeline.
The trained climber says he is prepared to descend from his perch, 30 metres above the ground, rather than risk the safety of the officers ordered to make the arrest.
He says his demonstration is a renewed awareness of the strong opposition to expansion of the Trans Mountain that stretches from the Edmonton-area to Burnaby.
Work on expansion of the pipeline was suspended in August when the Federal Court of Appeal found First Nations were not adequately consulted and that the National Energy Board failed to consider the marine shipping impacts.
The federal government purchased the pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada for $4.5-billion last year in order to ensure the expansion would proceed.
Christenson says he believes his latest protest in the towering cottonwood accomplished the goal of helping eagles return to the area.
“Because it’s the biggest tree in the harbour, eagles for years have nested here, and so Kinder Morgan put in an eagle deterrent,” he says.
Demonstrators are confident that expansion of the terminal could be affected if eagle nests prevent removal of surrounding trees.
“So, we threw (the eagle deterrent) down yesterday,” Christenson says.
“I’ve had a great couple of days. And it’s not over. There will be other actions,” he says.