Liberal MLA Threatens Sun Peaks Protestors
Protesters could face arrest
By DANNA JOHNSON
Staff reporter - Kamloops This Week
If First Nations protesters and their supporters refuse to leave Sun Peaks they
will be arrested.
Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger said those defying the order will be
charged, likely end up with criminal records which will impact their ability to
find work and gain passports.
Following a protest at the rapidly growing resort destination Sunday, Krueger
said the province issued a notice of trespass.
"If they do not respond by vacating the property I expect they will be arrested
and charged. If they put themselves through this course they'll end up with
More than 100 supporters took to the mountain Sunday protesting the $285 million
expansion of the popular ski destination.
The protest coincided with the end of several court orders banning various
individuals from the ski hill.
Protest organizer and Neskonlith Indian Band member Janice Billy said they are
now stationed on surveyed Crown land. However, Krueger contends they are on
private property and must leave.
"Sun Peaks is a major generator of jobs locally and is fully supported by people
of Kamloops, and that includes First Nations groups who have a number of very
successful ventures with the resort."
The thought of arrests and criminal charges isn't phasing Billy.
"I'm not listening to him. He can't be the only one who determines what
The land being occupied by First Nations groups is scheduled to become the 16th
fairway of the course.
Billy said protesters plan to construct a cultural centre on the site.
"It's going to be a centre for youth and elders to come together and teach
cultural activities like hunting and trapping and preserving meat. You can't
teach those things down on the reserve," she said.
But that land is private property, Krueger said.
"There are about a dozen people there and there are a number of white people
from the Lower Mainland there. Whoever they are, they are there illegally."