Nfld. & Labrador

'I'm sorry': Muskrat Falls protester says gun-toting photo should never have been posted

A Muskrat Falls protester has apologized for posting a photograph of himself with a weapon. The Labrador Land Protectors group says it doesn't condone violence.

Photo removed from Facebook, Labrador Land Protectors says it does not condone violence

A Facebook post Monday, that has since been deleted, shows a Muskrat Falls protester holding what he said was a BB gun, standing in front of a bus in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. (Facebook/Jerry Igloliorte)

A group protesting the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project is distancing itself from a photograph of a Labrador man carrying a gun, and says it does not condone threatening remarks posted on Facebook.

The man with the gun, Jerry Igloliorte, has also apologized.

"I'm sorry," he told CBC News Wednesday afternoon. "It shouldn't have happened."

The post and subsequent apology comes hours after a group of protesters prevented vehicles from entering the Muskrat Falls worksite Tuesday evening. A busload of workers leaving the site was also delayed for about an hour.

The photograph, which has since been deleted, was posted Tuesday by Igloliorte, a member of the Labrador Land Protectors.

It shows him holding what he said is a BB gun, and standing in front of a bus believed to be hired to bring extra police officers to the Muskrat Falls gates.

"Locked and loaded good and ready to take action against Dwight Ball Nalcor and the RCMP," the post read.​

'Not a good decision'

"The Labrador Land Protectors do not support the inappropriate photo displaying a weapon that was shared using our name," the group said in a public statement Wednesday.

"Jerry Igloliorte is one of our members and while we respect his freedom of expression, the Labrador Land Protectors do not support or in any way condone the use of violence including depictions of violence or displays of weapons," the group said in its statement.

"We have spoken with the RCMP who were on site last evening and Jerry has apologized. He sees it was not a good decision at all and regrets the hurt it has caused. We feel this issue has been addressed."

The RCMP, meanwhile, told CBC News that its investigation of the Igloliorte photograph is ongoing.

Sorry for making group 'look bad'

Igloliorte appeared in court Wednesday afternoon, accused of breaching an earlier court order not to block the Muskrat Falls site.

He told CBC News the post was a statement about "going to battle" against Nalcor, and again apologized for making the Labrador Land Protectors "look bad."

Nalcor's application to the court identified Igloliorte and several others as being part of a group that blocked traffic at the main gate on Tuesday evening.

The company said the Labrador Land Protectors also used social media to organize another blockade for Wednesday.

"I'm free to go back up to the site," Igloliorte said, but maintained that his protests will be non-violent.

With files from Jacob Barker