THE City of Burnaby on Thursday noted that the RCMP’s work in policing and monitoring Kinder Morgan protest activities in the City of Burnaby is critical to public safety.
In a statement, the City said: “Demonstrators have a right to lawful, peaceful and safe protest. Citizens and workers have equal rights to safety.
“The RCMP is working hard to ensure that these rights are respected and that everyone is kept safe. The primary concerns of the police are public safety, police officer safety, and preservation of the rights of demonstrators to their freedoms of expression, association and mobility, as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“During the recent protests, as in the 2014 Kinder Morgan protests, our Burnaby RCMP have conducted themselves in an exemplary manner. The City takes pride in its partnership with the RCMP and the work done by our RCMP every day, throughout our community.
The City appreciates that, for the most part, demonstrations have been peaceful, with valuable dialogue and co-operation between protestors and the RCMP. It is critical that the invaluable services provided by the RCMP continue to be respected by all. The RCMP’s work is fundamental to ensuring that all voices can be heard and that everyone’s rights to safety are ensured.
“As the City of Burnaby continues to assert that it will not accept responsibility for policing costs associated with any damage, disruption or protests caused by the potential construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, tank farm, and marine terminal, the City does so fully recognizing and appreciating the critical service that the RCMP is providing.
“The reason the City is refusing to accept responsibility of the costs is because Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline is a project which the federal government declared to be in the national interest, in spite of the damage it will cause in the City of Burnaby and in the Metro Vancouver region. The federal government knew that the pipeline would be protested by citizens from across Canada. The fact that Kinder Morgan’s marine terminal and tank farm are located in Burnaby and that the pipeline ends in Burnaby does not mean that our City should bear the costs of policing a federally approved project that the City of Burnaby didn’t ask for and doesn’t want.
“The National Energy Board and the courts have ruled that the Kinder Morgan pipeline is an interprovincial undertaking, and a matter under federal jurisdiction, which Burnaby’s laws cannot regulate. As a federal enclave, like airports, we expect that extraordinary policing costs caused by the federal authorization must not be borne by the City of Burnaby.
“The safety of citizens and businesses in Burnaby is of paramount concern to Burnaby City Council. We expect that appropriate police resources will be made available during protests to ensure public safety and we thank the RCMP for the extraordinary effort to date in this regard.”