Criminal charges to proceed against reporter covering Muskrat Falls protests

Justin Brake is facing a charge of mischief and disobeying a court order after following protesters into the Muskrat Falls worksite in October of 2016

Justin Brake followed protesters into the Muskrat Falls site, arguing he was covering a story

Reporter Justin Brake faces charges in both supreme and provincial court after following protesters into Muskrat Falls in October of 2016. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

A provincial court judge has ruled criminal charges against reporter Justin Brake will go ahead.

Brake is facing charges of mischief and disobeying a court order after he entered the Muskrat Falls hydroelectic project along with protesters in October of 2016. At the time, he worked for theindependent.ca. 

Brake is also facing civil contempt proceedings in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court based on the same set of facts.

His lawyer Geoff Budden asked that the court stay the criminal proceedings. But Judge Wynne Anne Trahey did not agree.

"There is nothing to preclude civil contempt and criminal contempt actions from proceeding simultaneously," Trahey said in her ruling Monday. 

"Civil contempt proceedings are intended to resolve issues between competing parties. Criminal matters are intended to address matters of public interest."

Brake's next date in provincial court is set for April 24.