The University of British Columbia says it sent an email to international students in error warning them of expulsion and deportation if they were arrested at the Trans Mountain pipeline protests at Burnaby Mountain.
Approximately 250 students within the Faculty of Forestry received a email last Friday warning them of the possible consequences if they receive a criminal conviction from being arrested in the illegal protests. Here is the full text of the email sent by a Forestry faculty administrator:
Dear Forestry international students,
As you may already be aware, protests have been taking place on Burnaby Mountain in relation to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and a number of people have been arrested.
Were wanted you to be aware of the serious repercussions which could take place for any student who is here on a study permit and who is arrested. It would mean an immediate end to your studies at UBC and could also mean immediate deportation since this would be considered a criminal conviction.
In the end, the decision on whether or not to go to the area is yours, but please consider the seriousness of the situation and approach the matter accordingly.
— Nadine Clark (@nadinejclark) November 23, 2014
Yesterday, UBC sent another email to the Forestry Faculty’s international students to retract statements made in its Friday email.
The second email apologizes for the misinformation and clarifies that students’ are free to act in whatever way they choose outside of the campus and that UBC will not take any action to discipline students for their involvement:
This email was written in response to Forestry students’ interest in the protest and concerns about what might happen if they engaged in the protests. The email was sent to about 249 undergraduate international students in Forestry.
It was well intended, but created unnecessary confusion and the facts were not accurate. UBC wants to make it clear that students are free to protest as they see fit. UBC does not direct the actions of students off campus, when they are engaged as private citizens in non-university activity.
UBC has since written an email to those students, correcting the misinformation. The e-mail clarifies that students are free to protest as they see fit. The email also clarified that students’ immigration status is a matter between them and Canadian immigration authorities. UBC will not take any action, including disciplinary or otherwise, if students are involved in the protests.
UBC regrets any confusion this may have caused.
— Paige T. MacPherson (@paigemacp) November 24, 2014
At least 70 protesters have been arrested since last Thursday when RCMP moved into the Trans Mountain survey drilling site and enforced a court order for protest activities to cease and dissipate. Continued demonstrations have been followed up arrests despite multiple police warnings and the decision to temporarily close the access road into the drilling area.
The B.C. Supreme Court gave protesters until 4 p.m. on Monday, November 17 to leave Burnaby Mountain.
Feature Image: Mike Klotz via Flickr