22 November, 2018 (Unceded Coast Salish Territories) — Several more pipeline opponents were sentenced to jail today, and 85-year old Joanne Manley, the oldest Protector jailed for blockading construction on the now stalled Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project, received a fine of $2,000 and 14 days of house arrest.
“Facing 14 days in jail frightens me, but a climate catastrophe frightens me more,” said Manley, before her sentencing. “The Trans Mountain Pipeline and tanker project will be the final nail in the coffin for BC’s beloved Orcas, our Southern Resident whales. If there’s an oil spill like what happened to Newfoundland last week, Vancouver harbour and our coastal waters will be poisoned. I made a decision to do whatever I could to stop the pipeline – for every child and grandchild, for the Orcas, and for this planet.”
While the Crown recommended a 30-day conditional sentence of house arrest and a $2,000 fine, defence counsel Robert Janes asked for a conditional sentence of 7 to 14 days of house arrest based on mitigating factors like health. Judge Affleck then sentenced Manley to a conditional sentence of 14 days of house arrest and a $2,000 fine to be paid by January 31, 2019.
Ronald Berezan, Jo Ann Murray, and Judith Rees-Thomas were sentenced today to 7 days in jail and taken into custody immediately. Danika Dinsmore was also given a conditional sentence of 7 days home detention and 150 hours of community service due to mitigating factors. All four Protectors were arrested May 18.
Earlier today, two defendants were in court on an application to recuse Judge Affleck due to bias. No ruling was made, as the judge reserved judgment.
Government of Canada corporation Trans Mountain is also taking an active role in persecuting pipeline opponents. Tomorrow, defendants Lini Hutchings and Reverend Laurel Dykstra face sentencing for 7 days in jail on civil contempt charges, as well as Trans Mountain’s legal costs. The Crown corporation has not revealed the total amount it is seeking to cover legal costs. These charges were previously dropped by prosecution and Kinder Morgan, but Trans Mountain Corporation opted to pick up the suit after the Government of Canada purchased the pipeline and tanker project.
Donations to support Protectors can be made to the Stop KM Legal Fund: https://stopkmlegalfund.org/