Green Party leader Elizabeth May jokes during her speech at the Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner at the Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec on Saturday, May 26, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Green Leader Elizabeth May gets $1,500 fine for contempt in pipeline arrest

VANCOUVER — Green party Leader Elizabeth May has pleaded guilty to a criminal contempt of court charge for violating an injunction at a Kinder Morgan work site in Burnaby, B.C.

May was arrested in March at a Trans Mountain pipeline terminal in Burnaby when she joined activists including New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, who pleaded guilty to the same charge earlier this month.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck had imposed an injunction requiring protesters to stay at least five metres away from two work sites in Burnaby.

Affleck ordered that May pay a $1,500 fine, saying she is in a position of influence as an MP and as a lawyer she had a responsibility to obey the injunction.

After her arrest, May said permits issued for the twinning of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline did not respect the rights of Indigenous people.

Dozens of people have been arrested for protesting against the project, which has been approved by the federal government.

May’s lawyer, Alex Ejsmont, told the judge his client apologizes for the harms her actions caused to the court as he proposed a fine of $500, adding May entered an early guilty plea that indicates her remorse.

“She takes the position that non-violent civil disobedience has a place in a functioning democracy,” he added.

(Companies in this story: TSX:KML)

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