A standoff between protesters and a Timbro Contracting truck driver attempting to breach a roadblock on Highway 8 ended peacefully Wednesday (March 25).

After hours of negotiations between RCMP, First Nations leaders, members of the Friends of the Nicola Valley anti-biosolids group, and the company’s management, the truck and its driver turned around.

The protesters were affiliated with the Friends of the Nicola Valley group, and area First Nations.

The driver was hauling building materials for greenhouses to the BioCentral composting facility in Lower Nicola when protestors got him to pull over, refusing to let him through at about 10 a.m. this morning.

The driver, who works for Timbro and said his name was Jerome, initially refused to turn his truck around.

“I refuse to turn around because they’re blocking the highway,” Jerome said.

He said his haul consisted of two greenhouses, and he didn’t know what their intended use would be at the facility.

“I’ve never hauled biosolids with this truck. I got a greenhouse on the back.”

After waiting for instructions from his superiors, he voluntarily complied with protesters’ demands and turned around at about 2 p.m.

Timbro is the parent company of BioCentral, which on Monday voluntarily and indefinitely suspended importing biosolids into the Nicola Valley until First Nations and government officials can reach an agreement on the use of biosolids locally.biosolids1_web

RCMP Cpl. Rick Aird, who was on scene during the standoff and met with the parties involved, said that arresting protesters for illegally blocking the highway would have been a last resort.

The stalemate was a peaceful one, and amounted to little more than a waiting game while RCMP got in contact with the company and worked with all sides to negotiate a resolution.

Protesters allowed all other traffic to pass through the roadblock, although a couple trucks were stopped before being allowed to pass.

There were about 30 people at the protest site during the standoff.

Friends of the Nicola Valley spokesperson Georgia Clement said bringing the equipment to the composting site should be prohibited because, from the First Nations’ and the anti-biosolids group’s point if view, it violates BioCentral’s recent self-imposed moratorium on bringing biosolids into the Nicola Valley.

“We expect that BioCentral will agree that this would be part and parcel of the biosolids coming into the Nicola Valley,” Clement said.

BioCentral has stated that it’s disappointed that protestors blocked the truck as it wasn’t carrying biosolids.