A charge of disturbing a historical site in the Kamloops area under the Heritage Conservation Act has been laid in connection with work being done on the federal government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
The federal Crown corporation undertaking the expansion had a date in Kamloops provincial court this week on the matter and its next court appearance is set for Jan. 23, 2023, to consult legal counsel.
“The BC Prosecution Service has approved a one count charging Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC,” BC Prosecution Service spokesperson Daniel McLaughlin told KTW via email. “The allegation is that they did damage, excavate, dig in or alter a site that contains artifacts, features, materials or other physical evidence of human habitation or use before 1846."
McLaughlin said the offence is alleged to have occurred between July 7, 2021, and August 25, 2021, at or near Kamloops.
In an emailed message to KTW, Trans Mountain confirmed receipt of a charge issued under the BC Heritage Conservation Act in relation to an alleged archaeological incursion that occurred on private agricultural land.
“We have engaged with the relevant stakeholders and will respond to the summons as required,” a Trans Mountain spokesperson said.
Asked for the exact location where the alleged offence took place, McLaughlin said the BC Prosecution Service isn’t commenting further as the matter is before the courts.
According to Trans Mountain’s website, the area of pipeline expansion from Black Pines to Kamloops, crossing through the Lac Du Bois protected area, is listed as still being an active construction site. The section south of the city that passes around Jacko Lake is still listed as future construction. Trans Mountain completed a crossing of pipeline under the Thompson River between Kamloops Airport and Mission Flats in the fall of 2020. Trans Mountain has also been active in recent years along the hillside leading through Kenna Cartwright Park.