Nfld. & Labrador

Jim Learning accused of breaking house arrest same day transformers delivered to Muskrat Falls

Nine days into his house arrest, Jim Learning, 79, was brought to Happy Valley-Goose Bay Supreme Court, accused of breaking his conditions.

Learning says he hasn’t gone near megaproject since being released from custody July 31

Jim Learning, 79, was taken into custody Wednesday for allegedly breaking his house arrest agreement. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Nine days into his house arrest, Jim Learning was brought to Happy Valley-Goose Bay Supreme Court, accused of breaking his conditions.

The lawyer for Nalcor appeared via telephone Wednesday and said the sheriff's office had reason to believe Learning, 79, was "at or near" the main gate of the Muskrat Falls project on Monday morning — the same day transformers arrived from Cartwright.

"I was absolutely not there," Learning told CBC after the proceedings.

"I was … doing the things I usually do, but I wasn't doing anything that could have put me there."

Learning said he stayed between "two and three miles" away from Muskrat that day — outside the one-kilometre buffer he's required to maintain.

He said he believes officers mistook him for someone else with white hair and a similar build.

Jim Learning, centre, was held at Her Majesty's Penitentiary for 10 days in July, along with two other Indigenous activists. This photo was taken upon their release from custody. (Katie Breen/CBC)

"I can see that happening," he said. "But, boy, swearing on that — resting their credibility on that, not a good idea."

A hearing into the latest accusation has been scheduled for Monday.

Learning was one of three Indigenous activists held in custody from July 21 until 31.

He and two others, Eldred Davis and Marjoire Flowers, refused to promise the court they'd stay away from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project site.

With files from Katie Breen

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