Order of Canada recipient arrested at Burnaby pipeline protest

Burnaby Now

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Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson just before she was arrested at the Burnaby Mountain tank farm owned by Kinder Morgan.
Photograph By TZEPORAH BERMAN/CONTRIBUTED

At least nine people were arrested Saturday (June 30) afternoon at the gates of Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Mountain tank farm in the first mass arrest since a beefed-up injunction was approved by a judge.

Included in the group of people arrested was Order of Canada recipient and current Vancouver council candidate Jean Swanson, who is 75 years old.

She could face as much as seven days in jail and a hefty fine.

Swanson released a statement saying she risked going to jail to condemn Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s $4.5 billion buyout of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline.

“The Order of Canada is given to people who want a better country,” said Swanson, who received her Order of Canada for working with impoverished communities in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. “Spending billions of taxpayer dollars on an oil pipeline given the threat of climate change is not making Canada a better country.”

Morgan McGinn and Susan Lambert were among the others arrested alongside Swanson.

Lambert is a retired teacher who is the former president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. She told the NOW that the risk of going to jail definitely “gave me pause” but she did it for her grandchildren.

“It’s like trying to stop a freight train,” Lambert said after being released by police. “The situation is so critical we have to take action to tell the politicians we don’t want this project to happen. My legacy as a grandmother means I have to do this. I owe a debt to my grandchildren.”

After the first group of protesters were arrested, a second group of five people sat down in chains in the injunction zone. Police played a recorded message detailing the injunction, but the group didn’t move and they were arrested, and then released.

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Editor, Burnaby Now & New Westminster Record. Follow Chris Campbell @shinebox44 on Twitter and Instagram.