Criminal charges against Green Party leader Elizabeth May have been approved following an arrest during a pipeline protest March 23. (Energetic City/Twitter)

Green Party leader Elizabeth May has pleaded guilty to criminal contempt charges after being arrested for violating a court injunction by protesting at a Kinder Morgan pipeline work site on May 23rd.

She has been ordered to pay a $1,500 fine. May was arrested along with dozens of other protestors including NDP MP Kenneth Stewart who also pleaded guilty to the same criminal contempt charges and was ordered to pay $500.

May apologized for her actions in contempt of court, but maintains that the permits that allow Kinder Morgan to twin the existing Trans Mountain pipeline go against the wishes and rights of Indigenous people.

MPs violated court injunction barring protesters from work site

May and Stewart were arrested for violating an order from the BC Supreme Court that created a five metre no-protest buffer zone around a Kinder Morgan work site on Burnaby Mountain.

Both MPs were initially charged with civil contempt of court, which the BC Civil Liberties Association says is “where a person or corporation breaches a court order, and the nature of the conduct interferes with the interests of another private party.”

The charges were upgraded to criminal contempt of court on April 9. Criminal contempt of court is where a court order is breached, but the nature of the conduct is seen to have interfered with the public’s perception of the authority of the law.