The RCMP met on Wednesday with Thompson-Nicola Regional District directors, including Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian, in areas along the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion route to discuss security issues, in light of protests expected during the construction project.
TNRD chair Ken Gillis said police briefed directors on what communities should expect.
“The RCMP just brought us up to date on the fact that they are making preparations,” Gillis told KTW.
Asked what kinds of preparations have been made in anticipation of protests, Gillis said the RCMP has a “special force designated for that.”
“They’re not hanging around waiting for trouble,” he said. “But on the other hand, they are available to be called in if trouble should arise.’”
Also in attendance was Christian. He said Mounties talked about security issues related to the pipeline expansion project and the potential for disruption by protestors.
Asked if he voiced any concerns on behalf of the City of Kamloops, Christian said he voiced “a number of them.
“It’s a security issue, so I don’t think its going to serve the interests of the city well to talk about our security plans in the newspaper,” he said.
Kamloops Coun. Arjun Singh had previously expressed to this newspaper concerns about protests. He pointed to protests in Burnaby and said that while Trans Mountain has committed to providing security, Kamloops RCMP would ultimately be responsible for maintaining order.
“The interesting thing there is, guess who pays for the policing?” Singh earlier told KTW.
“That’s going to be interesting. They’re starting to build potentially in the middle of spring or summer, right in the middle of extreme weather season, potentially. How are they going to staff up, all of the things they’re going to need around security, right? Around the pipeline route.”
It was first meeting of this kind between police and TNRD directors.
No future meetings have been planned.