Nunatsiavut leader asking premier to step in and stop charges against land protectors

APTN National News
The head of Nunatsiavut secretariat in Labrador is asking the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador to put pressure on Nalcor Energy to drop criminal charges laid against 28 protesters of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

President Johannes Lampe sent the letter to Dwight Ball Tuesday.

“I am writing to once again ask that your give consideration to requesting Nalcor Energy to drop all criminal and civil actions against the Labrador Land Protectors for events leading up to and on October 26, 2016 at or near the Muskrat Falls site,” Lampe wrote.

In the fall, land protectors as they came to be known, occupied Nalcor Energy’s construction offices in an effort to stop flooding for the project.

There are concerns that flooding for the dam will create methylmercury downstream where people hunt and fish.

Nalcor Energy is the provincial government’s energy agency and is leading the over budget, multi-billion dollar hydroelectric dam project 30 kilometres west of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

“Having these charges dropped would serve as a significant and meaningful gesture of good faith and good intentions going forward, and would help to restore positive and constructive relations among the Indigenous leaders, the people of Labrador, Nalcor Energy and the Province,” said Lampe.

On the same day Lampe sent the letter, 28 of the land protectors appeared in court facing criminal charges for their part in the occupation of the Muskrat Falls site.

They face a total of 60 charges including mischief over $5,000 and ignoring a court order.

“To be clear, I am not asking you to approach the prosecutors with this request, but I do believe that it would not be improper if you were to approach Nalcor to ask that consideration be given to dropping all charges,” said Lampe.

For more on the land protectors, click here: Muskrat Falls

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