New evidence regarding protest, says NunatuKavut president
The president of the NunatuKavut Community Council says he has new information that raises questions about an incident that occurred on the Trans-Labrador Highway near the Muskrat Falls construction site.
Seven people are currently facing obstruction charges, after the RCMP arrested them at a protest in April.
The demonstrators were arrested on April 5 on the highway, about 10 kilometres from the site, where a generating station will be built on the Churchill River.
Todd Russell said he has evidence that those arrests were biased and unreasonable.
Russell added they received anonymous tips, indicating a high-ranking RCMP officer involved with the arrests was hoping to secure a job at the Muskrat Falls site — a job the former officer now has.
"We're supposed to also have the protection of the law," said Russell.
"We're also supposed to have confidence that the system is treating us fairly, even when we're out there on the protest line."
Nalcor has confirmed that it has a former RCMP officer working with the project. He is employed in a security role.
Nalcor spokesperson Gilbert Bennett said he was hired after the April protest.
"His conduct and decision-making at the RCMP is something that the RCMP would address during the course of his employment there, and I think that any law enforcement decision that's made is made by the individuals responsible for that decision, based on the information they have before them," Bennett said.
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the RCMP said it is confident its actions were professional and lawful, and added that there will be no further comment, as the matter is now before the court.