KM [Kinder Morgan] Defendants Legal Fund Appeal

Rita Wong, Mel Lehan, Barry Morris, Kyle Farquharson, Will Offley
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

As you will see from the attached materials, we are a group of defendants charged with blocking the Kinder Morgan expansion project last year.  We will be going on trial in April charged with criminal contempt of court, and facing both fines and jail terms if convicted.  We are raising a defence of necessity with the goal of changing Canadian legal precedent if we are successful, which would have significant positive consequences for climate defenders facing charges for peaceful civil disobedience in the future.

As we are facing significant costs to pay for the legal fees required for raising this defence, we would greatly appreciate your support.  Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.

In solidarity,

the Climate Necessity Defence group


We are 5 land and water protectors arrested for opposing the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion.  As citizens of conscience, we had no choice but to breach a court injunction in our efforts to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. We are guilty only of trying to protect our communities and relatives around the world threatened by global warming. To that end we are pleading not guilty by virtue of necessity. Our goal is to change Canadian law and set a precedent so that the courts take climate change seriously.


Laws exist so that we may live peacefully and justly together as a society. However, sometimes it's necessary to break the law to prevent a more serious harm from happening. For example, if you were trespassing on private property in order to save someone's life, you might invoke a defence of necessity because you had no reasonable alternative to breaking the law. This applies to humanity collectively: we face extinction if we don't stop climate destabilization from fossil fuel expansion. Defences of necessity and lawful excuse have been used successfully in the US and the UK, but are relatively untested in Canadian courts.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would increase Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, making it virtually impossible to fulfill the emissions reduction targets to which our government agreed subject to the 2016 Paris Accord. The new pipeline would intrude on the unceded traditional lands and waters of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, Squamish and many more First Nations, violating their sovereignty and the duty of the governments to meaningfully consult with them. It would hasten the extinction of orcas and other endangered species. Overall, the project poses an unacceptable risk to not just Burnaby residents, but all communities exposed to the hazards of fire, explosions, toxic leaks and climate destabilization that experts have warned the National Energy Board and the government against.

We all need to stop this expansion.

In the service of personal and social consciences,  it is unjust to punish people for breaking a law in order to prevent a far greater harm and crime: the destruction of the capacity of our planet to sustain human civilization.  We are guilty only of trying to protect our communities, relatives, and all other living species.


We expect the cost of mounting this defence at trial will be at least $10,000.  All donations will be held in trust by Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE)

To donate online go to, click on "donate" and add "CND" after your last name when filling out the form.

Or make cheques out to BROKE, with "Climate Necessity Defence" in the memo line, and send them to BROKE, 6508 Hastings St., PO Box 44063, Kensington Square, Burnaby, BC, V5B 1S0.

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Contact us via email at or by surface mail at Climate Necessity Defence, 1249 East 18th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5V 1H3.

Rita Wong, Mel Lehan, Barry Morris, Kyle Farquharson, Will Offley