Jaccard arrested at White Rock protest

Simon Fraser University professor and New Westminster resident Mark Jaccard was arrested during a protest in White Rock on Saturday.

Jaccard, an environmental economist and head of SFU's school of resource and environmental management, and 12 others were arrested by RCMP for blocking a Burlington North Santa Fe Railway train carrying coal.

In a public statement prior to the protest, Jaccard said he was willing to engage in civil disobedience and risk arrest "to emphasize how important it is that we take urgent action to stop the actions that cause climate change."

Jaccard said the window of opportunity to avoid runaway and irreversible climate change is closing quickly.

"Within this decade we will either have steered away from disaster, or have locked ourselves onto a dangerous course," said Jaccard. "Our governments continue to ignore the warnings of scientists and push forward with policies that will accelerate the burning of fossil fuels. Private interests—coal, rail, oil, pipeline companies and the rest—continue to push heir profit-driven agenda, heedless of the impact on the rest of us."

Jaccard said he had never put himself in a position of civil disobedience, but recent federal government actions left him no alternative because the future is at risk.

"I now ask myself how our children, when they look back decades from now, will have expected us to have acted today. When I think about that, I conclude that every sensible and sincere person, who cares about this planet and can see through lies and delusion motivated by money, should be doing what I and others are now prepared to do," said Jaccard.

A coal train originating from Wyoming headed to Westshore Terminals in Delta was stopped on the tracks to facilitate the arrests. The protesters were later released and each given a $115 ticket for trespassing on private property.

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