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NEWS: Council of Canadians protest at highway site continues

Eric Doherty by Murray Bush, Flux Photo

Eric Doherty by Murray Bush, Flux Photo

The Vancouver Province reports, “Protesters blocking construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road continued their camp-out Tuesday (and now into Wednesday) below River Road in Delta. They have food and shelter, including a teepee, and some are determined to stay on the site until the $1-billion project is shelved or they are removed. …Eric Doherty is with StopThePave. org, one of the organizers of the occupation along with the Council of Canadians. …Doherty (says) he doesn’t think it’s too late to stop (the highway).”

The newspaper adds, “Delta police are monitoring the occupation and expect it to continue through the week.”

CKNW reports, “Doherty says protesters with the Council of Canadians and ‘Stop the Pave’ aren’t afraid of getting arrested. He says they will make a group decision on how long to stay there.”

The Delta Optimist adds, “Saying they’re hoping the police don’t force them out, Cathy Wilander, a Ladner resident and president of the local chapter of the Council of Canadians, told the Optimist the environmental devastation, which also includes the loss of prime agricultural land, has drawn interest not only locally but around the world. ‘With all these groups taking part, it shows the mass appeal and that a lot of people are concerned about this very destructive project, not just environmentalists but also ordinary citizens who don’t want to lose any more tax dollars into this’, she said. The camp comes equipped with supplies, a kitchen and washroom facilities for a lengthy stay, said Wilander.”

Earlier this week, Surrey Now reported that Sgt. Sharlene Brooks of the Delta police said, “(The police have) officers monitoring that situation (and have) an operational plan in place. It’s been very peaceful. Of course, we understand and appreciate not everyone supports the South Fraser Perimeter Road expansion project and they have every right to protest. Obviously, everybody is due to return to work (Tuesday) and if the protest continues, then further options will have to be explored and considered by the landowner, by way of either a court injunction or what have you. There may be other options available to them.”

And NEWS1130 has reported, “Police and the Ministry of Highways have no plans to force them out. Delta Police Sergeant Sharlene Brooks says officers have been on site to keep the peace but they won’t be forcing anyone to leave without the government getting the courts involved. ‘If there’s going to some sort of prevention of any work continuance then its the authority of the landowner to get a court injunction to allow them to continue.’ But project director Jeff Freer says there are no plans for that, at least for now. ‘It’s been peaceful so far and we’ll work with the authorities and just move forward.’”