The mood at the Site C dam protest camp is somber tonight, after a judge ordered the campers to move.
That’s according to Ken Boon, who will see his farmland flooded, says he intends to honour the injunction.
While the enforcement order takes effect at midnight Boon, who was among the protesters named in an injunction filed by BC Hydro, says local authorities indicate there will be some leeway.
“They realized the difficulties with logistics here and it’s going to take a number of days for everything to be closed up here.”
Boon says that’s despite the fact that police have the legal authority to move in on the protest camp at midnight.
“We’ve been in talks with them and they know we are here and it is going to take some time to pack this all up.”
Ruling favours Hydro
Earlier today, a ruling came down that demonstrators have no right to obstruct the hydroelectric project, which has regulatory approval from both the federal and provincial governments.
A BC Supreme court judge says protestors who are trying to hold up work on the Site C dam have to pack up and leave.
The judge sided with BC Hydro and granted an injunction, saying the protest camp has to disappear and great financial harm can be done if the protests are allowed to continue.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, told CKNW last week that opposition to the injunction will continue.
But speaking after the court case this morning, Chief Philip said the injunction will be honoured.
“Again we are supporting Treaty 8 stewards of the land. There’s going to some very emotional decisions and discussions taking place.”
Protester Sspokesperson Yvonne Tupper said they will abide by the injunction, but says they will take time to process the decision.
“The time to record it and document it was not even given, so I’m trying to process it myself right now.”
Energy Minister applauds
Bill Bennett says some people oppose the project and they do have the right to protest it..
“But the fact of the matter is that in Canada when you get a legal permit from the federal government and legal permits from the province of British Columbia and you have gone through a period of due diligence lasting seven or eight years you don’t have the right as somebody who disagrees to actually stop the project.”
Bennett says his hope is the RCMP will find a way to clear out the camp and any protester that refuses to leave in a way that keeps everyone safe.
“As a politician I am not going to provide my free advice to the RCMP or anybody else in terms of how do you do this? How do you deal with a situation like this? I think the RCMP are trained to deal with a circumstance like this. I hope that this can be done in a way where everybody stays safe.”
He says with the camp cleared away the building can resume keeping the Site-C dam on time and on budget.
BC Hydro’s chief is also welcoming the judge’s ruling.
But president and CEO Jessica McDonald says BC Hydro respects different points of view of the controversial project …
“But in terms of anybody deciding to locate in and on the construction site that safety is our first concern.”
Protestors argued the the proposed dam will flood traditional hunting and fishing lands.
The Injunction takes effect midnight tonight.
The dam will flood 5,550 hectares of land, or the equivalent of 13.7 Stanley Parks: