Above Photo: On October 17, a pair of B.C. sheriffs visited the Vancouver headquarters of an environmental nonprofit named Stand.earth to collect money related to a failed court challenge.STAND.EARTH
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A Vancouver-based environmental group received an unwelcome visit by police today (October 17).
“At this moment sheriffs are waiting outside the Stand.earth office at 207 W Hastings on Enbridge’s orders to seize all assets of the organization,” reads a media release issued by the nonprofit organization.
“This morning our staff was served a notice of writ of seizure and sale, and two sheriffs showed up at our door, demanding to take all of our assets.”
Stand.earth was previously known as ForestEthics and has operated out of a Vancouver office since 2000.
This morning’s visit by police relates to a court challenge the organization mounted against the National Energy Board’s 2014 approval of an Enbridge pipeline that was planned to run from Alberta to eastern Canada.
Enrbidge acted as an intervenor in the case. The challenge was eventually dismissed and Stand.earth was ordered to pay the oil and gas giant’s legal fees, which amounted to $14,000.
Stand.earth never paid.
Next, Enbridge obtained a court order concerning damages. Then, today, police officers responding to that court order visited Stand.earth’s headquarters in order to collect on the debt.
But, just as they were doing so, and as news of the officers’ visit was broadcast across social-media, Enrbidge posted a message on Twttier stating it was dropping the matter.
— Stand.earth (@standearth) October 17, 2017
“We have asked the sheriffs not to seize any assets from @standearth and we will not be pursuing the matter further,” reads a message posted by Enbridge at 12:48 p.m.
Stand.earth staff have since continued to speak out against the company.
“This is an outrageous act of bullying by Enbridge”, said campaigns director Karen Mahon quoted in a media release. “Enbridge is a massive corporation that earned $4.6 billion last year, yet is demanding Stand.earth pay their court costs, even though time has proven them wrong.”
“I think this is corporate intimidation and it’s not going to work,” Stand.earth’s Karen Mahon told reporters who gathered at the office.
We have asked the sheriffs not to seize any assets from @standearth and we will not be pursuing the matter further. 1/2
— Enbridge (@Enbridge) October 17, 2017
A subsequent message that Enbridge posted on Twitter says the company will not comment further on the matter.