Nfld. & Labrador

Mud Lake spokesperson arrested shortly before final transformer arrives at Muskrat Falls

One person was arrested shortly before the final transformer destined for the Muskrat Falls site arrived Friday evening.

Daughter says Melissa Best was surrounded by 13 police officers before her arrest

Melissa Best is chair of the Mud Lake improvement committee. (Bailey White/CBC)

Less than an hour before the final transformer arrived at the Muskrat Falls gate, Melissa Best, chair of the Mud Lake improvement committee was taken into custody according to her daughter and others that came out to make a stand.

"There's a fire in my belly right now and there's no way to put it out until I know where my Mom is gone," daughter Randi Linstead told the CBC. 

Best was there along with several others to greet the final of 7, 200 tonne transformers as it arrived to show her disapproval. Linstead said her mother crossed the road to read information on an injunction notice posted on the fence of the site's entrance. 

"She was asking the officers, 'what's going on, like there are so many people that were served and arrested. I am the most outspoken one here right now'," Linstead said.

"She stepped in the gate and asked the security officers, can you produce this form, this paper, this information for me and she came back out, they shut the gates then."

Best then walked away from the site towards Goose Bay, according to Linstead. About 200 metres down the road, Linstead said she was arrested by two sheriffs' officers while 13 uniformed police surrounded her.

"What was said I don't know... I heard her yell out 'they're taking me'."

'Doing what she knows is right'

Best has spoken out on behalf of Mud Lake residents after spring floods forced people to evacuate. Many, including Best, think Muskrat Falls played a role in the high water levels. Her daughter said she has not been to court at any point as many others have for their roles in Muskrat Falls protests.

"Mom is doing what she knows is right. Our home was flooded out in May," Linstead said.

"She did not jump aboard the "hate Nalcor" train as soon as it happened. It was a process, there was a build up. She was here exercising her right of peaceful protesting."

RCMP have not confirmed the arrest.


Jacob Barker


Jacob Barker is a videojournalist for CBC Windsor.