Protesters at an anti-pipeline camp in Burnaby, B.C., will meet with officials to discuss safety measures, but will defy a city-issued evacuation order.
The City of Burnaby told Canadian Press there are safety concerns surrounding “Camp Cloud,” including a two-storey wooden watch house and a fire that protesters describe as sacred and ceremonial.
Protest organizer Kwitsel Tatel told Canadian Press the participants will not leave, nor will they extinguish their fire.
Tatel suggests the structures around the camp’s sacred fire could be modified, if only to refocus the attention away from the physical camp and back to the anti-pipeline protest.
She adds that snuffing out the fire would constitute a breaking of both B.C. Supreme Court and Coast Salish law.
The protesters say the city’s notice, which was issued on Wednesday and expired early Saturday, was written without adequate consideration of a recent court decision or consultation with camp residents.
The B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March that both the camp and a nearby watch house could remain in place in response to a court injunction filed by Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd., the company behind the Trans Mountain expansion project.
Tatel said the residents of the camp have had conversations with the City of Burnaby about the demands set out in the eviction notice, and they are willing to negotiate in good faith. But she said the city has not engaged in those discussions.