Texas oil giant files civil lawsuit in BC Supreme Court, hearing at 10 a.m. Friday
Friday March 9, 2018
VANCOUVER, BC — On Friday, March 9, 15 residents head to BC Supreme Court to defend themselves against a civil lawsuit filed by Kinder Morgan, in the Texas oil giant’s latest attempt to quash the ongoing peaceful protest against the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
In addition to 15 named defendants, the lawsuit also lists “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” — which implies that any member of the public, now and into the future, risks arrest by simply coming within 50 metres of Kinder Morgan facilities.
At the hearing, Stand.earth plans to file an affidavit in support of the defendants, arguing the lawsuit wrongfully limits nonviolent public protest.
“Kinder Morgan’s action is an obvious SLAPP lawsuit designed to intimidate everyday citizens and stop people from speaking out against its dirty pipeline expansion,” said Karen Mahon, Campaign Director, Stand.earth. “This lawsuit tries to prevent someone from so much as standing on the side of the road and holding a sign.”
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit intended to silence critics by burdening them with legal costs. Many of the 15 defendants named in the lawsuit have been involved in ongoing peaceful demonstrations at Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Terminal and Westridge Marine Terminal.
“Kinder Morgan’s latest legal strategy is a repeat of the disastrous tactic it attempted at Burnaby Mountain in 2014,” saidSven Biggs, Campaigner, Stand.earth. “Kinder Morgan is obviously threatened by the widespread public dissent to its dirty pipeline. We remain committed to ensuring this pipeline will never be built.”
In the 2014 case, charges were dismissed against more than 100 legal protesters because Kinder Morgan used the wrong GPS coordinates in its legal claim.
The hearing is at 10 a.m. Friday, March 9, at British Columbia Supreme Court, 800 Smithe St, Vancouver, BC. View the notice of civil claim.
Karen Mahon, Stand.earth, 604-836-5992
Sven Biggs, Stand.earth, 778-882-8354