Government office in Labrador stays open despite Muskrat Falls protest
Protesters shut down office in October, tried again on Monday
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.
Inside Labrador Aboriginal Affairs office now - group asking for it to be shut down and for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/muskratfalls?src=hash">#muskratfalls</a> to be shutdown <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/mwHcI1uIp8">pic.twitter.com/mwHcI1uIp8</a>—@JacobBarkerCBC
"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."
Labrador Land Protectors group trying to shut down Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs office in HVGB <a href="https://t.co/AIIHjxVi31">pic.twitter.com/AIIHjxVi31</a>—@KatieBreenNL
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.
- Muskrat Falls protesters block trucks at North Spur site
- Protesters march on Muskrat Falls site in final effort to stop reservoir flooding
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.
Asking what time office opens/closes tomorrow. <a href="https://twitter.com/JacindaBeals">@JacindaBeals</a> says group might "move in" <a href="https://t.co/lxsbdRveiV">pic.twitter.com/lxsbdRveiV</a>—@KatieBreenNL