Nfld. & Labrador

28 people charged after Muskrat Falls protests

The RCMP has laid a total of 60 charges against 28 people after last year's protests at the Muskrat Falls work site in Labrador.

Charges announced by RCMP on Tuesday

Protesters slowed work at the Muskrat Falls work site in Labrador in 2016. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Twenty-eight people have been charged in connection with last year's protests at the Muskrat Falls site, the RCMP announced on Tuesday afternoon.

A total of 60 charges were laid, including mischief, breaches of a court order, and taking a motor vehicle without consent.

Police said the 28 people, from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Cartwright, Sheshatshiu, Northwest River, Rigolet, Port Hope Simpson and Benoit's Cove, are set to appear in court in April.

"The RCMP respects and protects the right to peaceful demonstrations as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," the police force said in a press release.

"The role of the RCMP when unlawful acts occur during a demonstration is to ensure public safety, preserve the peace and enforce the law while upholding the fundamental freedom of peaceful demonstrators."

Police say their investigation is ongoing.

Marathon protests

Protests against the Muskrat Falls megaproject intensified in October. The month saw a hunger strike, marches, a blockade and an occupation of the work camp inside the Muskrat Falls site.

That was despite a court order that barred protesters from the work site.

Protesters who occupied the site left after the provincial government reached an agreement for more environmental monitoring with Indigenous leaders from the Innu Nation, the NunatuKavut Community Council and the Nunatsiavut government.

Some of the protesters were already facing contempt of court proceedings in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.