UPDATED: Kennedy Stewart pleads guilty after he, Elizabeth May charged in pipeline case

UPDATED: Kennedy Stewart pleads guilty after he, Elizabeth May charged in pipeline case

Both MPs face criminal contempt charges after allegedly violating a court order

Burnaby South MP Kennedy Stewart has been given a $500 fine after he and Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May were charged with criminal contempt for allegedly violating a court order to stay away from the Trans Mountain work site in Burnaby.

Crown spokesperson Dan McLaughlin said that Stewart pleaded guilty in court on Monday morning.

The two MPs were among dozens of others arrested on March 23 after allegedly coming within five metres of the site where Kinder Morgan is working to expand its pipeline.

All protesters had originally been facing civil contempt charges, but during an April court date Justice Kenneth Affleck urged Crown to take the case on as a criminal manner.

“As a matter of law, the conduct alleged is criminal contempt,” Affleck told Crown lawyer Trevor Shaw at the time, who was representing the attorney general of B.C., in regards to Kinder Morgan protesters awaiting charges.

“These are matters of public importance in which the attorney general ought to intervene and take over. They ought not to be left in the hands of Trans Mountain.”

Two special prosecutors have been appointed to handle two the two MPs’ cases.

Vancouver lawyer Greg DelBigio will handle May’s case and Vancouver lawyer Michael Klein will take over Kennedy Stewart’s case. The pair were appointed to avoid any bias, real or perceived, in the case.

May has yet to plead in the case and her next court appearance will be on May 28.

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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