A prominent member of a controversial First Nations protest group is standing trial this week in a Kamloops courtroom, accused of violating her bail conditions by confronting Trans Mountain security guards in the North Thompson.
Kanahus Manuel’s trial on one count of breach of release order got underway Monday morning in Kamloops provincial court.
Manuel, a 46-year-old leader of the Tiny House Warriors, was on bail during the summer of 2021 with a number of conditions, including one that required she stay at least five metres away from any Trans Mountain workers or contractors.
In court on Monday, Crown prosecutor Andrew Duncan played a number of videos appearing to show Manuel violating that condition multiple times. Some of the videos were filmed by Trans Mountain security officers and some were filmed by Manuel herself and posted online.
Trans Mountain security officer Marty Cheliak testified about his dealings with Manuel between Aug. 31, 2021, and Sept. 3, 2021 — the period during which she is alleged to have breached her bail.
Cheliak, formerly a high-profile Mountie who once led Canada's federal gun registry program, said he often saw Manuel while working for Trans Mountain in the Blue River area. He filmed two videos that were played in court.
“Trans Mountain, you are illegal,” a masked person, alleged to be Manuel, can be seen yelling in one of the videos. “The work you are doing here is illegal.”
The woman addressed Cheliak directly at one point in the video, calling him a “little geeky f--ker.”
“You guys should be embarrassed and ashamed of yourselves,” she yelled into a bullhorn. “This is my home.”
One of the videos shot by Manuel shows her walking up to Cheliak’s work truck and yelling at him through a closed window. In the clip, she can be heard yelling at Cheliak and a number of other workers.
“F--k you, you f--king crackers — get the f--k off our land,” she yelled.
“Go back to Europe.”
Manuel’s trial, in front of Kamloops provincial court Judge Roy Dickey, is expected to conclude on Tuesday.
At the time of the alleged offence, she was on bail stemming from her arrest following another incident at the Trans Mountain worksite in Blue River. In that case, she was convicted of theft for stealing a lock in 2019.
The trial was initially slated to take place in Clearwater. A judge approved a change-of-venue application in November to avoid any potential delays.