Searsport, BC — RCMP on Friday cleared protesters who had set up barricades and rocks near a construction site for a pipeline pipeline that runs from northern British Columbia to northeastern Alberta.
Mounties said they arrested 42 people and arrested another protester at the site. Charges are expected to be laid Friday night.
B.C. conservation officers also arrested one person Friday on a charge of unlawful trapping. That person was released on a promise to appear in court Nov. 6.
The protest sites at Searsport and Grand Forks are along a portion of the Trans Mountain pipeline where construction has been halted while the courts consider the federal government’s approval of the project.
One protester remained at the Searsport site to make more concrete rocks, members of the Sto:lo Tribal Council said.
Still others gathered to have pictures taken on-site while waiting for RCMP to remove them. Several demonstrators held bows and arrows, they said.
Police patrolled the area after protesters set up barricades and rocks earlier this week, said Michelle Mungall, MLA for Stikine and the MLA for Skeena. The other 34 arrests came in Stikine, about 50 kilometres to the west.
Later Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is disappointed with the protest actions, but he said he will stand by the government’s approval of the project.
The protest continues despite uncertainty and uncertainty over what the process and the court decision will be, said Kieran Lewis, NDP MLA for Skeena.
It is a project that he thinks will help the economy and jobs in northern British Columbia, while doing the same in the city of Houston, where the pipeline will end up.