B.C. Economist Blocks Coal Trains In White Rock

6 May

Demonstrators gathered on the tracks where coal trains pass on a regular basis. About a dozen protesters, including one of Canada’s leading energy-environment economists, were arrested Saturday after setting up a blockade on train tracks in White Rock, B.C., aimed at stopping U.S. coal trains from reaching local ports.

About a dozen protesters, including one of Canada’s leading energy-environment economists, were arrested Saturday after setting up a blockade on train tracks in White Rock, B.C., aimed at stopping U.S. coal trains from reaching local ports.

Mark Jaccard, a professor of sustainable energy at Simon Fraser University and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was arrested along with several others late Saturday evening following a day-long protest in the 15000 block of Marine Drive.

“Thirteen protesters were arrested without incident and were respectful of the police and the process that was … a result of their actions,” said RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen.

The protesters, 12 men and one woman, were each served with a $115-ticket for trespassing under the Railway Safety Act. All were subsequently released from police custody.

In a written statement released before the protest, Jaccard said he was prepared to be arrested.

“Putting myself in a situation where I may be accused of civil disobedience is not something I have ever done before,” he said.

“But the current willingness of especially our federal government to brazenly take actions that ensure we cannot meet scientifically and economically sound greenhouse gas reduction targets for Canada and the planet leaves me with no alternative.”

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