NDP Leader Earle McCurdy says the situation with Muskrat Falls protestors will continue to escalate unless the provincial government takes decisive action. McCurdy has written to Premier Dwight Ball urging him to show leadership on the issue immediately.
Crown corporation Nalcor requested and received an injunction in 2016 against protesters at the Muskrat Falls site. The court order restricts demonstrators from protesting. If they do, they can be considered in contempt of court and subject to penalties; the penalties are stronger with each infraction. Currently, three Inuit elders are imprisoned in Her Majesty’s Penitentiary because they have said they can not agree to abide by the court order not to protest.
McCurdy says Nalcor can ask for the injunction to be withdrawn and the premier can tell Nalcor to do exactly that.
“Your government is the only entity that can do anything to stop the escalation and worsening of the situation, and I urge you to do so immediately,” McCurdy’s letter says.
McCurdy also says the Premier, as Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, has the duty to sit down with Indigenous leaders and the power to grant the requests that are at the root of the protests: that an inquiry including a forensic audit be held, that an independent assessment of the stability of the North Spur be commissioned, and that the premier continue face-to-face meetings with Indigenous leaders.
“It is absolutely incumbent on you as Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs to address the legitimate concerns of the Labrador Land Protectors,” he says in the letter.
“You must take all possible steps to prevent protest action from escalating.”
To speak with Earle McCurdy, phone 709-739-6387 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org