79-year-old protestor arrested at Trans Mountain pipeline expansion blockade

Protesters attend a anti trans mountain pipeline rally in downtown Vancouver, Monday, December, 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A grandmother was arrested on Saturday after taking part in a blockade to stop the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Burnaby RCMP arrested 79-year-old Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta for breaching a court-ordered Injunction which stated demonstrators could not obstruct, impeded or otherwise prevent access to the Trans Mountain work sites.  She was released on scene and will be charged with criminal contempt in the coming weeks, police confirmed.

“This is just too close to home, it cannot be ignored,” Kaufman-Lacusta told Global News Monday.

“I’m outraged at Trans Mountains’ callous disregard for the threat to the health and safety of residents along the pipeline route, like us.”

The RCMP said it has discretion to decide how and when to enforce the Injunction Order and Mounties are monitoring the situation and take action a case-by-case basis.

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“We read the injunction, we explain the injunction, we say ‘if you stay, you’re going to be arrested’ and we give them options, Cpl. Michael Kalanj said.

“The option was given, and the person decided they wanted to actually get arrested.”

Access to the Trans Mountain work site in the 8000-block of Government Street was being blocked by eleven protesters Saturday, preventing crews from working on the project that will transport nearly 900,000 barrels of diluted bitumen from Edmonton to Burnaby each day, RCMP said.

Kaufman-Lacusta was the only individual arrested by the RCMP at the protest on Saturday.

“I really feel strongly when you see something wrong you need to do something about it if you’re able,” Kaufman-Lacusta said.

Click to play video: 'Anti-pipeline protestors block rail line near Burnaby-Coquitlam border'
Anti-pipeline protestors block rail line near Burnaby-Coquitlam border

Demonstrators are planning to return to the site this Saturday morning at 7 o’clock, according to Kaufman-Lacusta.

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