Nalcor granted injunction against NunatuKavut Community Council
Nalcor Energy has been granted an injunction against protesters gathered near the gate leading to a construction site near Muskrat Falls in Labrador.
Members of the NunatuKavut Community Council have been blocking access to the construction site just south of Muskrat Falls since Wednesday.
Nalcor has been building an access road and camp site at the location.
The council has been trying to get a land claim agreement with government on the land, but NunatuKavut president Todd Russell said even without one, NunatuKavut members have a right to the land.
"Basically, they've been blocking access to our traditional lands," he said.
"We have always indicated that we were going to take on-the-ground action. This is another on-the-ground action. And we felt that we had to prove we could move and mobilize. And if we so chose, we could block access to the construction site."
In a statement released on Thursday, a Nalcor official said the injunction will allow the company to continue its road construction work at Muskrat Falls without interruption.
The NunatuKavut Community Council — formerly the Labrador Metis Nation — has said in the past it would also consider taking legal action against Nalcor.
Muskrat Falls supporters launch website
Meanwhile, a group of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians has launched a website to show support for the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric megaproject.
I Believe in the Power of Newfoundland and Labrador launched the website Wednesday as a way to counter the anti-Muskrat Falls message.
"I believe the Muskrat Falls project is the strategic move we need to make," the website states.
"The development of this resource can change our province forever: it can give us the power we need, grow our economy, make us more self-sufficient, change how the world sees us, and how we see the world."
There are 38 names on the list of supporters, including business leaders from across the province, including Cathy Bennett, the CEO of the Bennett Group of Companies, Ocean Choice International CEO Martin Sullivan, and Peter Woodward, the vice-president of the Woodward Group of Companies.
While Woodward admitted that Muskrat Falls would be in the best interest of his companies, he told CBC News that's not why he supports the project.
"I live in this community. This is not about an investment for me or how much money I'm going to make," he said.
"I live here [and] I'm concerned about where we're going to be down the road. And that has as much to do with the decisions I make as my businesses do."
Another project supporter is Happy Valley-Goose Bay Mayor Leo Abbass who also sits on the board of directors for Nalcor, the provincial energy company behind Muskrat Falls.
He said one of the reasons he joined the group is because people are hearing a lot about the project cons, but not enough about the pros.
"I believe this project is the right thing for us at this time in history," he said.
Though, Abbass noted, the support isn't unconditional.
"There are certain conditions that go along with that support. I mean, you know, not at all costs," he said.
"I mean, everything has to be done in an environmentally sound way. And these are things that we're looking for. There has to be benefits."
Abbass said those benefits include help to improve the aging infrastructure in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
But Abbass said while he said his support is conditional, he can't see withdrawing support if Nalcor doesn't come through on the town's demands, which also includes power set aside for industrial development.