Nfld. & Labrador

Extra police, little communication: Happy Valley-Goose Bay mayor questions Nalcor's sincerity

Happy Valley-Goose Bay mayor Jamie Snook says Nalcor has been silent with his government about transformers set to travel the Trans Labrador Highway to Muskrat Falls, despite promising improved communication.

200-tonne transformers expected to leave Cartwright Thursday for Muskrat Falls

Four of the seven transformers destined for the Muskrat Falls project now sit at the marine centre in Cartwright, after their journey from Bay Bulls. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Happy Valley-Goose Bay Mayor Jamie Snook says Nalcor has been silent with his government about transformers set to travel the Trans Labrador Highway to Muskrat Falls, despite promising improved communication after the flooding in Mud Lake in May.

According to Snook, the RCMP were the first and only ones to give councillor​s an indication of how the transport would work — including the extra police resources being deployed to see the shipment through.

"What can I say? It continues to be disappointing how we get information from the company," Snook said, adding that Nalcor's negotiations with the Town of Cartwright came as a surprise.

"[Nalcor] should be having those same level of negotiations with us, and it just continues to show a pattern where you really wonder how genuine the company is about rebuilding these relationships," he said.

The first shipment of transformers is expected to leave Cartwright on Thursday.

A total of seven 200-tonne transformers will be driven over the Trans Labrador Highway in four trips, which are expected to run into September and take between one and two weeks each.

Increased police presence

RCMP have brought in additional officers in Cartwright, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and along Highway 501 to ensure safety for community members and the motoring public during the move.

"The RCMP's job is also to uphold and protect the right of Canadians to peacefully and lawfully express their opinions and views while ensuring public order, so that businesses and their employees can safely carry out their lawful work," the police force said in a statement.

The RCMP wouldn't confirm the exact number of additional officers for "operational reasons."

However, Mayor Snook said in a meeting with police officials town council was "led to believe there would be a couple hundred or more extra RCMP resources in the region."

"The detachment here is under-resourced, so it kind of catches your attention when almost — in a matter of a couple of months — several hundred extra resources can show up for a Nalcor special project. That's something, I think, for us all to reflect on," Snook said.

In a statement, Nalcor said it met with Happy Valley-Goose Bay town employees — not elected officials — about the transportation of transformers on July 13th.

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