Last week, more than 100 protesters arrested while demonstrating against a tar sands pipeline on Burnaby Mountain in British Columbia, Canada saw their charges thrown out by the BC Supreme Court, the Vancouver Observer reported.
The pipeline, a project by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP – the fourth largest energy company in North America, has faced strong opposition from environmentalists, aboriginal groups, and residents of the area.
The project would “triple the size of [Kinder Morgan’s] 300,000-barrel-per-day TransMountain pipeline,” according to Reuters. The company had previously been granted an injunction against the protesters, but the BC Supreme Court rejected a request to extend it after it expires today.
As a result, Kinder Morgan said that it would remove its equipment and workers off Burnaby Mountain by the end of the injunction.
Lynne Quarmby, one of the protesters arrested and chair of the molecular biology department at SFU, called the Court’s ruling “fantastic.”
“It’s a fabulous victory,” Quarmby told the Observer, adding that she certainly had not wanted to be arrested.
In a statement, Kinder Morgan said,
“It was unfortunate the situation on Burnaby Mountain led to arrests … We respect the court’s decision related to the charges. We did not have intention of pursuing damages.”
The company also said it was willing to work with the City of Burnaby to fix any damage it had caused to the mountain.
“What this proves is that the court system works,” said Kevin Washbrook, one of the protesters and Voters Taking Action Against Climate Change spokesperson. “Some people said the police were being Kinder Morgan’s private security, about the courts working for Kinder Mountain … but that’s not true, they work for all of us.”