VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — It’s an annual event for British Columbians to celebrate families by heading to the B.C. Legislature, but now it’s cancelled despite a court injunction granted Thursday that prevents anti-pipeline protesters from blocking access to the building.
Recent anti-pipeline and Indigenous rights demonstrations have shut down streets, bridges, railways, and now a day of scavenger hunts and crafts will not be going forward. The acting clerk says they’ve nixed the event out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the business of the Tuesday budget can proceed.
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A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted an injunction against further blockades at the legislature in Victoria. The injunction comes less than 24 hours before protesters have said they’ll block numerous B.C. government buildings in the city.
Speaker Darryl Plecas asked for the injunction and Justice G.C. Weatherill says his ruling authorizes police to arrest and remove people blocking entrances at the legislature.
The justice says the court is concerned that protesters at the legislature blocked entrances, covered closed-circuit cameras and aggressively harassed people at the building.
Weatherill cited social media posts calling on protesters to mobilize Friday in efforts to shut down the government in his decision to grant the injunction.
As protests continue in the capital and beyond, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says demonstrations that include harassing people will not be tolerated.
“What is not acceptable are protests that intimidate people. What is not acceptable are protests that frighten people,” he says.
Farnworth adds, if you are pushing people and stopping people, “who are doing their job and on behalf of the people of the province, that’s not acceptable. That kind of behaviour is not a protest,” he says, adding there will be consequences and possible charges.
“If police find that there is activity that is in contravention of the law then I expect the law to be fully enforced.”
Plans are in place to keep staff safe at any government buildings during any protest, though, such details will not be released.