Police say a Merritt woman has been arrested after parking at and refusing to leave a Trans Mountain worksite near Hope.
Hope RCMP responded to a worksite near Falls Lake Road, off of the Coquihalla Highway, on the morning of Sept. 30. A 47-year-old woman, a ‘demonstrator’ as police stated, had reportedly “parked her vehicle in a manner that prevented workers from conducting operations.”
Security staff at the site told the woman that her actions were in breach of a June 1, 2018 Supreme Court injunction, police stated, adding that she was given a copy of the order. The order states that people having notice of the order are restrained from “physically obstructing, impeding or otherwise preventing access by Trans Mountain, its contractors, employees or agents” to the project’s sites and work areas.
When police arrived the woman refused to leave and was arrested, then released at the scene. “The demonstrator was also provided an opportunity to leave by the RCMP, we give everybody every opportunity to resolve things peacibly,” said spokesperson for the Upper Fraser Valley RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail. “She declined to take that opportunity and she was arrested.”
Charges are pending, Rail said, and a court date has been set for Jan. 20, 2021.
Rail said the RCMP’s role is an impartial one, with the goal of keeping all parties safe and upholding the law. “We’d like to remind demonstrators that they do have the right to lawful, peaceful and safe protest but also the companies have the right to complete their work and we’re working hard to ensure that these rights are protected and everyone is kept safe,” he added.
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