Protesters blockade Premier Horgan's home ahead of B.C. budget release
VICTORIA -- Pipeline protesters were arrested outside the home of B.C. Premier John Horgan on Tuesday morning while attempting a citizen's arrest of the premier.
Activists with the group Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island said they intended to prevent Horgan from attending today's provincial budget announcement at the legislature.
Four RCMP vehicles were on scene before 8 a.m. as were members of the premier's security team.
The premier wasn't home when the protest began but he came home shortly after and verbally accosted the protesters.
At 8:15 a.m. two protesters were laying across the driveway of the Langford home while another group of protesters held signs on the street.
The RCMP moved to create an exclusion zone in front of the premier's home, pushing media back to the end of the street and threatening to arrest anyone who remained.
At 8:20 a.m., police began arresting protesters who were blocking the driveway, while a handful of other protesters stood on the street.
Horgan left his home with his security detail at 8:30 a.m.
Three protesters were ultimately arrested for mischief, according to Mounties.
"It was reported the individuals had entered the premier’s private property, disturbing the premier’s family by banging on his door stating they were going to make a citizen’s arrest," the RCMP said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
"West Shore RCMP set up a safety zone and warned the individuals if they continued to commit mischief they would be arrested. Several individuals left and stood outside the safety zone. Officers arrested the remaining three adults who continued to commit mischief and refused to leave the area of the driveway."
The three protesters taken into custody will be released with the conditions that they avoid the premier's home and his constituency office, police said.
West Shore RCMP Insp. Todd Preston called the alleged mischief "a gross invasion," adding "I strongly condemn the actions of the individuals involved."
BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson took to social media to condemn the protest at the premier's house, saying: "No one in B.C. should ever feel unsafe in their homes."
The action outside the premier's home Tuesday is the culimination of a week of anti-pipeline protests that have disrupted daily life in Victoria and much of the country.
Last Tuesday, hundreds of activists blocked the entrances to the B.C. legislature as the government was set to deliver its throne speech. That was followed midweek by rolling protests outside B.C. ministry offices in and around Victoria.
Transportation blockades have have been erected nationwide to protest the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern B.C., which is part of a $40-billion LNG Canada export project in Kitimat aimed at getting liquefied-natural gas to foreign markets.