Howard Breen of Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island as he crashed a federal funding announcement in Oak Bay on Aug. 19. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Protester threatens citizen’s arrest at federal government event in Oak Bay

Police escort protester away after confronting federal minister

Protesters took centre stage ahead of federal environmental announcement Monday morning.

When Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna arrived at Cattle Point in Oak Bay to announce funding towards Canada’s conservation efforts and fight against climate change, one protester confronted her and was arrested.

READ MORE: Uplands Park, neighbourhood designated national heritage site

Environmental activist Howard Breen was there with about a dozen Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island members who inflated an orca and held protest signs such as “climate criminal,” and “end oil.”

“We are here to put [McKenna] in protective custody because we feel she could be in imminent harm by some individuals who may want to act out on their anger,” Breen said. “…We can not have any more of our precious time squandered by the minister making these meaningless election announcements that are just stunts retread every four years.”

Breen, who was openly holding zap straps, was warned by Oak Bay Police Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties that police would intervene any attempt to confine McKenna.

Upon greeting McKenna, Breen was arrested and removed from Cattle Point. Bernoties said Breen was peaceful and did not resist arrest. He was processed without charges and released shortly thereafter.

The protest actually started about 30 minutes before McKenna showed up to announce $4.3 million in funding towards a nature legacy to protect natural and sensitive environments and announced Uplands neighbourhood as a natural historic site.

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Uplands Park volunteer steward Margaret Lidkea was recognized at the federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change funding announcement on Monday morning. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Members of Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island showed up to protest federal government’s lack of climate action during a funding announcement by the Minister of Environment in Oak Bay on Monday. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

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