Nfld. & Labrador

Government office in Labrador stays open despite Muskrat Falls protest

A group is demanding the resignations of Premier Dwight Ball as minister responsible for Labrador affairs.

Protesters shut down office in October, tried again on Monday

Protesters gathered outside the building Monday morning, and asked staff to shut down the Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs offices. (Katie Breen/CBC)

A group protesting the Muskrat Falls project demonstrated outside the office of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Monday, demanding the resignations of Premier Dwight Ball as minister responsible for that department, and the MHA for Lake Melville, Perry Trimper.

The Labrador Land Protectors carried signs as they gathered outside the office. Representatives who went inside the building asked staff there to shut it down but, after about two hours, were told people would keep working.

"We are tired of [Ball] talking for us and the fact that he appointed himself as the minister of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs just shows the hypocrisy and the corruption within this government, because he certainly has not listened or respected the Indigenous population," said Denise Cole with the Labrador Land Protectors group.

"We're no longer going to accept people who try to represent us by talking through both sides of their mouths."

Several protesters signed the office guest book, with comments such as "shut Muskrat down" and "expose it all."

The group eventually left for the day but suggested they may return on Tuesday. 

We might as well just move into this office.- Jacinda Beals

"I have a feeling this is going to be a common place for us now," Jacinda Beals said from inside the Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs office.

"We might as well just move into this office." 

The grassroots group has previously staged protests at the Muskrat Falls construction site itself, and about 50 members of the group face contempt of court charges.

Protesters have expressed concern about potential health risks to people living downstream of the hydroelectric project, because of methylmercury related to reservoir flooding.

They have also criticized the escalating cost of the project, the stability of the North Spur and the impact on power bills.

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