Court order threatens Muskrat Falls protesters with arrest
Nalcor says Supreme Court injunction issued Oct. 16 is being ignored
The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador has ordered protesters occupying the Muskrat Falls site and blocking gates to the project to leave — or face arrest.
- Muskrat Falls workers bused out after protesters occupy site in Central Labrador
- Temporary road closure at Muskrat Falls was necessary for safety: RCMP
The court order, handed down Monday, names 22 specific individuals but includes "any other persons found unlawfully occupying the project site."
22 protesters + any other persons unlawfully occupying project site ordered to appear in court no later than Nov. 10th <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/muskratfalls?src=hash">#muskratfalls</a> <a href="https://t.co/4zbX8x09iZ">pic.twitter.com/4zbX8x09iZ</a>—@JacobBarkerCBC
Nalcor Energy and the Muskrat Falls Corporation appealed to the court after a group of protesters cut a lock on the gate at the Labrador hydroelectric project and occupied the site on Friday.
Since then, the company has sent hundreds of workers home and issued safety warnings. RCMP closed Route 510 for several hours Monday, also citing "public safety concerns."
Protesters remained in the area on Tuesday. Some are still inside the project's accommodations area, while others are staying in the designated protest zone across from the main project gate.
Faye Goudie, one of the 22 individuals named in the court injunction, told CBC News she's willing to break an injunction again in order to stop the Muskrat Falls project from going ahead as planned.
Police have increased their presence at the main Muskrat Falls gate.
RCMP at the gate to Muskrat Falls <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/sHP4Mwjp0b">pic.twitter.com/sHP4Mwjp0b</a>—@CBCMarkQuinn
Roberta Benefiel added the protests won't stop unless the provincial government orders the full clearing of the Muskrat Falls reservoir.
"I have a message for Dwight Ball and Perry Trimper. If you don't clear this reservoir, you haven't seen the light of day yet."
"This is not going to stop. We are not going to stop. And the next process is to get rid of that island government."
Cautious optimism from this protester at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MuskratFalls?src=hash">#MuskratFalls</a> site as Dwight Ball meets with Aboriginal leaders in St. John's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlpoli?src=hash">#nlpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/HvejxcuLE7">pic.twitter.com/HvejxcuLE7</a>—@CBCNL
In making its case to the court, Nalcor said the protest has escalated since an interim injunction was issued Oct. 16.
It argued that protesters are delaying or preventing work, which will cause "substantial interference with the completion of critical construction milestones such that the overall completion date of the project would be extended."
The Supreme Court injunction says anyone refusing to leave the site can be arrested and charged with contempt and ordered to appear in court before Nov. 10.
Individuals named in the court order included Justin Brake, a writer for TheIndependent.ca.
There was no word of any arrests as of 4 p.m. NT on Tuesday.
With files from Jacob Barker