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Labrador Land Protectors end three week blockade


Published on July 14, 2017

The Labrador Land Protector group ended their three week demonstration at the Office of Labrador Affairs in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The group said they this was simply the first action they will undertake.

©Courtesy of LLP

Following a three-week shutdown of the Labrador Affairs office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the Labrador Land Protectors have ended their demonstration, which was an attempt to speak to Premier Dwight Ball.

Following the announcement they were ending the blockade the group issued a statement, which said this action was he first step.

“We will no longer hold vigil waiting for your answers,” the statement read. “We will, as promised, move to take further action to hold you accountable for the destructive mistake that is the Muskrat Falls hydro project. You had your opportunity to work with us as is required of you by the mandate of your office and position. The time is fast approaching that the NL government will be held accountable by the people of this province once and for all.”

The statement read that the group never once believed that the staff, Minister, Lake Melville MHA Perry Trimper would “so blatantly ignore their own constituents as they have for the past three weeks.

The group said they were honouring their commitment to maintain communication with the staff and elected representatives, and said the Premier and four Labrador MHA’s have not upheld their end of the agreement made in February 2017. That agreement saw the LLP agree not to blockade the office if lines of communication were opened between them and the elected officials.

When contacted by the Labradorian about the blockade, Ball’s office issued a statement.

“First, I want to note that I have maintained communications with representatives from the Land Protectors group,” Ball said in the statement. “This was seen publicly in recent weeks when I engaged Land Protector Beatrice Hunter directly in a conversation that was livestreamed on social media and covered by news media.  Additionally, when I visited Mud Lake, I engaged in a question and answer session that involved local residents and Land Protectors at that time.”

The group said their three demands remain the same; to establish the Independent Expert Advisory Committee now, to order an Independent Review of the North Spur stability now and for the premier to mandate a forensic audit of Nalcor and public inquiry of the Muskrat Falls project now.

Ball said in respect to those calls for review his government continues to work diligently to address “issues arising from the fact that the previous administration did not engage in sufficient public consultation, communication, and oversight of the project to avoid the complications and public frustration we now see today.”

He said the recently discovered risk assessment report produced by SNC-Lavalin in April 2013 underlined urgent concerns about major challenges expected for the Muskrat Falls construction project, concerns, which he said, were not addressed by the previous administration and that he asked questions about while in opposition.

“At this point in time, it is vital that we stay focused on getting the project completed to avoid additional costs associated with delays, as the previous administration made commitments that bound the people of the province to having project costs downloaded onto them,” he said. “But I want to be clear, it is not a matter if, but when, a public review of the project will occur, and at all times, the safety of the people of the province is our government’s foremost priority.  We continue to assert this to Nalcor as the project is completed.”