By Rick Peterson
Laurie Embree’s seven-day jail sentence on Tuesday for violating a court order and protesting Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline is outrageous.
This is clearly a case of wrongful conviction.
In June, the 70-year old grandmother from 108-Mile House defied a court order to stop blocking work at Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Terminal.
She was arrested, charged, convicted and now has a criminal record. She’s sleeping in a jail cell tonight.
She was clearly set up.
Set up not by Canadian law, but by the people funding her cause. She bought the false rhetoric and spin stoked by people furthering their own financial interests at Canada’s expense.
And, as we know now, most of them are based in the United States.
People like the Rockefellers, Hewletts and Packards, for example. Under the guise of environmental concern, they’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in campaigns against Canadian “tar sands.”
Why? So they can keep buying our oil on the cheap. Currently, we lack enough pipeline capacity to get our oil to the world market, so are forced to sell much of it to refineries in the US Midwest at a discount – to the tune of up to $40 million every day.
Mrs. Embree is yet another victim of the incestuous snake-pit of intertwined charities and “activist” groups financed by US interests in an effort to choke off Canada’s resource economy.
Brave people, these foreign “activists” are, sending a 70-year-old grandmother to the front lines to stand before a judge armed only with the flimsiest of arguments but burning with a genuine conviction that their case must somehow be a noble one.
Problem is, she’s been sold a line.
The reality is that our oceans already host far more oil tankers from the US than it ever will from Canada, and both tankers and the pipeline they are protesting have a stellar safety record. The reality is the project will inject millions of dollars into enhancing the already-robust infrastructure in place to protect our coast when spills do happen – almost all of them involving refueling accidents with pleasure boats, ferries, and fishing vessels.
There’s the wrongful conviction.
In court, Mrs. Embree didn’t try to advance any facts in support of her convictions. No data, no arguments – just raw emotion. Not against the pipeline – no, but against “the rich”.
“Our judicial system is still being manipulated by rich and powerful people that have the influence to make our legal system work for them,” she told the Judge Kenneth Affleck, when asked if she had any words prior to sentencing.
Check out how slowly the wheels of justice are turning up at Camp Cloud in Burnaby. Delay after delay. Notices ignored. All supporting a few dozen ragamuffin “campers” who harass and aggress passersby and law enforcement officers. The legal system clearly is not working in favour of the rich.
Constance Lasheras, another senior citizen and Kinder Morgan protester, also got jail time on Tuesday. Here’s why she’s willing to take on a criminal record:
“The law… is unjust…. It supports an industry that is not just harming children, or black people, or women, or Indigenous peoples. Your law, in fact, is supporting an industry that has been scientifically proven to be harming the whole world and every living thing on it.”
Wow. Powerful worlds, but simply not true.
Justice Affleck was unfazed.
“I have no doubt these protests have been carefully organized,” he said. “They did so to gain publicity for a cause in which they believe.”
He knows that there are more protesters coming in front of him in the weeks ahead. Seeking attention. Fueled by a burning conviction that their cause is just. Willing to go to jail.
Next up before the courts: anti-poverty activist Jean Swanson and former BCTF president Susan Lambert.
As they head off to jail, the Rockefellers are in the Hamptons for the summer.
Rick Peterson is the founder of Suits and Boots (www.suitsandboots.ca), a not-for-profit of investment industry professionals who support the resource sector.