Four TMX protesters receive one month in prison for criminal contempt

'Protests are part of a healthy democracy; criminal conduct is not," says Justic Shelley Fitzpatrick.

Four TMX protesters receive one month in prison for criminal contempt
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Four women protesting the Trans Mountain expansion project will spend time behind bars after being convicted of criminal contempt over an October 2020 incident in Kamloops, BC.

BC’s Supreme Court sentenced Susan Bibbings, 56, Miranda Dick, 45, Heather Lamoureux, 32, and Laura Zadorozny, 61, for breaching the court-ordered injunction on Trans Mountain construction sites.

Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick handed Bibbings, Dick and Zadorozny 28 days each in prison, while Lamoureux received a 29-day sentence.

Police arrested and later released all four women on the morning of October 17, 2020, when they gathered at a gate to a Trans Mountain construction site near Kamloops Airport in Brocklehurst.

The court heard that protesters blocked the gate to the worksite on the morning of October 17, preventing a shift change. When RCMP arrived, the four women did not move, and they arrested them. Three women walked in handcuffs with police, but Lameureax refused, and officers had to carry her to their vehicle.

Fitzpatrick acknowledged the women's "peaceful" actions came from their concern for the environment, but said they chose to disregard the law and impose their sense of justice.

"Protests are part of a healthy democracy; criminal conduct is not," said Fitzpatrick.

In 2018, Ottawa paid $4.5 billion to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in a bid to almost triple the amount of crude oil moving from Alberta to customers overseas. The 1,150 km pipeline carries 300,000 barrels of oil daily and is Canada's only pipeline system transporting oil from Alberta to the West Coast. 

However, senior energy executives criticized Canada's "unpredictable provincial governments" for discouraging significant capital investment into energy infrastructure.

Last February, Ottawa said they would no longer subsidize the pipeline expansion project that cost taxpayers $21.4 billion. Trans Mountain Corp. partly attributed the surging price tag to increased security costs fronted by taxpayers. 

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg recommended sentences of between one and three months for the four women, suggesting one month plus extra time for Lameureax because she refused to be cuffed by law enforcement.

He recommended sentences of two to three months for Bibbings and Zadorozny, as they had each pleaded guilty to subsequent mischief charges related to other protests, whereas he suggested one month for Dick.

Defence lawyer Benjamin Isitt asked for 28 days in jail for Lameureax and Dick, 28 to 35 days for Zadorozny and a 60- to 75-day conditional sentence order, or 28 to 35 days in prison, for Bibbings due to medical issues of hypertension and sleep apnea.

Fitzpatrick disregarded factoring in the other charges for Bibbings and Zadorozny after receiving a conviction for criminal contempt.

Bibbings previously received a conditional discharge and a 12-month probation term for her role in an Extinction Rebellion blockade of a road to Vancouver International Airport in October 2021 and an 18-month probation term for blocking and gluing herself to the Trans-Canada Highway in 2022. 

Zadorozny received two years probation and community service for a pair of mischief charges from protests in July 2021 and October 2021.

Aside from Dick, the other women did not possess criminal records before the contempt charges. Dick had an initial intimidation and mischief conviction from a 2002 protest in Sun Peaks, which Fitzpatrick did not factor into sentencing.

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  • By Ezra Levant


"Church Under Fire: Canada's War on Christianity" will tell the story of the persecution of Christian Pastors in Justin Trudeau's Canada.

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