UPDATE: Federal Green Leader reacts to facing a criminal contempt charge over KM protest
Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May will face criminal prosecution for participating in a protest against the Kinder Morgan-Trans Mountain pipeline in Burnaby in March.
May had been charged with civil contempt, but a judge agreed with Kinder Morgan there could be grounds for criminal action as a court injunction was in place, and a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate.
The B-C Prosecution Service has confirmed the prosecutor concluded a criminal charge of contempt of court is warranted.
Speaking to CFAX May says she wasn't really expecting this, but says no matter what happens she won't have a criminal record:
"Criminal contempt wasn't exactly what I expected, but I do want to stress it's not a criminal offences, it's not in the criminal code, I won't have a criminal record. So, and I fully accept responsibility for my actions. That was my intention in making it clear that I opposed this project so much that I was prepared to take that step."
May, a former lawyer, says she is respectful of the process and intends to be in court once a trial date is set.
May says it's an unusual area of law as Kinder Morgan was able to say they thought the charges should be criminal, and then a judge agreed.
She adds the matter is about the court enforcing its own injunction and has no bearing on the merits of the pipeline itself.
Meantime Burnaby South NDP M-P Kennedy Stewart was also charged with criminal contempt. He has pleaded guilty, and must pay a $500 fine by Friday.
Meantime Burnaby South NDP M-P Kennedy Stewart, also charged with criminal contempt, pleaded guilty this (Mon) morning and must pay a $500 fine.
May was assigned a different Special Prosecutor than Stewart, and according to the Green Party they are still in discussions with the Prosecutor. Meantime May's case has been adjourned to May 28th.