Protesters rally at site of Lower Churchill hearings

Jenny McCarthy
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A group of more than 20 protesters gathered outside of Hotel North II in Happy Valley-Goose Bay this afternoon demanding that Nalcor leave.

Protesters against the proposed Lower Churchill Hydroelectric project gathered outside of Hotel North II this afternoon to voice their dissent.

Inside the hotel, Nalcor and DFO finished presenting the latest batch of information to the Environmental Assessment panel for the Lower Churchill Project before taking a lunch break.

The Friends of Grand River organized today’s protest. They are a local non-for-profit organization that aims to protect the Churchill (Grand) River.

Jim Learning, a member of the group, rallied the protestors with a megaphone from his truck while the sign wielding peaceful protesters marched the circular parking lot.

He said the turnout was better than he expected.

Within minutes of the protest beginning, two RCMP officers arrived to escort the protestors from hotel property.

The owner of the Hotel had requested that protesters be removed. This did little to faze the protesters who moved their march to the roadside.

Mr. Learning said the protest was just the beginning and the group hopes to rally more protesters for when the actual tree clearing and construction of the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Dam enters its construction phase.

“What they are doing in there is a done deal,” Mr. Learning said, referring to the environmental assessment hearings, which have been taking place at the hotel since Mar. 3.

“It’s all been decided. They are giving out permits and hiring workers,” he said.

Nalcor Vice President of the Lower Churchill Project, Gilbert Bennett, has explained the recent job postings as a part of being ready for the project when the time comes.

Mr. Learning said the main focus of the group right now is gathering support for protests to stop the project from moving ahead.

“Get ready for the woods.”


Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Grand River

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