Protesters at an anti-Trans Mountain Pipeline encampment on Burnaby Mountain say they’re willing to meet with the City of Burnaby to discuss safety concerns, but will not abide by a city-issued eviction order.
The city issued the 72-hour eviction order on Wednesday, citing concerns built structures including a two-storey watch house, a fire that protesters say is sacred.
The encampment, known as Camp Cloud, has been growing for months outside Kinder Morgan’s tank farm on Shellmont Street near Underhill Avenue.
The protesters say the city’s notice was issued without adequate consideration of a recent court decision or consultation with camp residents.
“We are a public, peaceful protest camp according to the constitutions, the authorities that are at play. Both the Coast Salish and Canada laws recognize the right to our public peaceful protest,” said camp spokesperson Kwitsel Tatel.
“The structures around our sacred fire function to support our water protection efforts, and they can be modified.”
The city says the approximately 10 structures, along with trailers, vehicles, portable washrooms, and showers are in violation of its bylaws, and that campers are violating a fire ban.
Mayor Derek Corrigan said that residents in the neighbourhood have also been complaining.
“The drug use, the drinking, the impact of the facility on road traffic, and certainly some of the things that have been said in relation to people that are going through the neighbourhood have been offensive,” he told Global News.
WATCH: City of Burnaby eviction order for Kinder Morgan pipeline protest camp
The B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March that both the camp and a nearby watch house could remain in place in response to a court injunction filed by Kinder Morgan Canada, the company behind the Trans Mountain expansion project.
Demonstrators are angry over the expansion of the pipeline between Alberta and B.C. that would triple its capacity to carry bitumen destined for export.
In May, the federal government announced it would buy the pipeline in an effort to see the expansion completed.
-With files from Jill Bennett and the Canadian Press