Haudenosaunee men ordered to pay Enbridge's legal fees

June 5, 2017
Article Source
Toronto Star

A judge has ordered two Haudenosaunee men to pay Enbridge Inc. more than $25,000 after they set up live traps and blocked workers' access along the Line 10 pipeline in rural Hamilton.

Indigenous protesters Todd Williams and Wayne Hill must fork over $18,387.81 and $7,000, respectively, to cover Enbridge's legal fees, Justice David A. Broad ruled last month.

In March, the pipeline company was granted a court injunction against the two men after they set up a series of steel cage rabbit traps and blocked access to its dig sites this winter in a bid to exercise their treaty rights.

Williams said Enbridge offered him a deal that stipulated he wouldn't have to pay if he agreed to stay away from its site for two years.

Initially, Williams said he saw that as good news.

"It doesn't mean someone else can't take up the fight … while I sit in the penalty box."

But the more Williams started telling people in his clan about it, the more he began reconsidering.

"What about your fight?" Williams said he was asked. "You're standing up for our treaty rights."

Williams said he's meeting with family this weekend to discuss the issue. He plans to make a decision by next week.

Enbridge spokesperson Suzanne Wilton said in an emailed statement that "it would be inappropriate for us to discuss the specifics as these matters are before the courts."

Wilton noted the injunction was granted after Hill and Williams interfered with pipeline maintenance work by "blockading workers, taking down fencing and entering work sites that are secured — putting people and the environment at risk."

"Seeking legal remedies is always a last resort that we undertake with careful and thoughtful consideration," Wilton added. "We would prefer to achieve mutually agreeable solutions through conversation."

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