B.C. TMX protesters sentenced after dino stunt

An activist is preparing for jail time after dressing up in an inflatable t-rex costume and playing badminton at a TMX construction site. Angela Bower finds out how these young people with multiple convictions are preparing for their time served.

By John Ackermann, Angela Bower, and Greg Bowman

Two women have been sentenced to three weeks in jail after entering an off-limits Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX) construction site wearing inflatable dinosaur costumes.

Emily Kelsall and Maya Laframboise were arrested last year for playing badminton on the site while dressed in T-Rex outfits.

They were sentenced at BC Supreme Court, where people gathered to rally outside.

Demonstrators chanted while proceedings were held, yelling out phrases like, “Stop TMX” and “long live T-Rex.”

“The Canadian government needs to wake up and realize what they’re doing is not only damaging to our current reality but is damaging to every reality to come for years to come,” one protester said.

Kelsall and Laframboise pleaded guilty last May to criminal contempt for violating a court injunction.

In an interview Thursday, Kelsall told CityNews she felt “happy,” adding, “I am glad that I can be among the activists that is doing what they believe in to such an extent that they are going to jail for.”

However, some people believe the punishment of going to jail is too harsh for what the pair did.

“I just find that it is kind of exaggerated to put two young people in jail for a minute protest,” Bill Winder, a climate activist and retired UBC professor, said Thursday. “I would rather that people in my position get involved rather than young people.”

Related article: B.C. activist who wore T-rex costume at TMX site prepares for jail time

In a statement, Trans Mountain says it respects people’s rights to peacefully protest.

“… in the future, renewable and clean energy will make up a greater mix of our energy supply, but the reality today is that we still rely on fossil fuels for the majority of the world’s energy needs. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t looking at ways to minimize, reduce and offset impacts,” the company said.

-With files from OMNI News

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