Peo­ple are fast­ing in protest of Muskrat Falls

The Labradorian - - Editorial -

“And all the peo­ple whose lives, liveli­hoods and cul­tures are at risk from Muskrat Falls. Oth­ers are fast­ing too, for one day or sev­eral, con­tin­u­ously since

June 21st and un­til Sept. 22nd.”

I’m writ­ing this in the hope that peo­ple with power will read it.

The Muskrat Falls mega-dam on Labrador’s Churchill River is be­ing built in de­fi­ance of com­mon sense and hu­man de­cency. The prov­ince of New­found­land and Labrador has al­ready squan­dered bil­lions of dol­lars on this boon­dog­gle, and the fed­eral govern­ment has im­pli­cated all Cana­di­ans through loan guar­an­tees for $9 bil­lion more.

Muskrat Falls is an out­rage against peo­ple — both Indige­nous and non-indige­nous — and against the Earth and its crea­tures. It threat­ens death by poi­son­ing or drown­ing, and cul­tural ex­tinc­tion by de­stroy­ing the en­vi­ron­ment that the peo­ple de­pend on. And you are en­abling this out­rage to con­tinue!

But you also have the power to stop it.

I am writ­ing this to­day as I fast in sol­i­dar­ity with the Labrador Land Pro­tec­tors, the Grand River­keeper,

Muskrat Falls is an out­rage against peo­ple — both Indige­nous and non-indige­nous — and against the Earth and its crea­tures.

And all the peo­ple whose lives, liveli­hoods and cul­tures are at risk from Muskrat Falls. Oth­ers are fast­ing too, for one day or sev­eral, con­tin­u­ously since June 21st and un­til Sept. 22nd. We are do­ing so right across this coun­try, as well as in the United States and the U.K., to add the col­lec­tive weight of our ac­tion to the long­stand­ing de­mands that you have so far re­fused to meet.

Those de­mands are: to im­me­di­ately im­ple­ment the rec­om­men­da­tions of the 2016 Har­vard Uni­ver­sity study for com­plete clear­ance of or­ganic mat­ter and top­soil from the reser­voir; to ap­point and fund a truly in­de­pen­dent in­quiry into the threat of a cat­a­strophic dam break at the North Spur due to quick clay un­der­ly­ing the con­struc­tion; and — cru­cially — to stop all work on the Muskrat Falls project un­less or un­til the Indige­nous peo­ple af­fected, and the non-indige­nous res­i­dents down­stream, have given their free and in­formed con­sent through an in­de­pen­dent and fully demo­cratic par­tic­i­pa­tory process.

Muskrat Falls is not “clean en­ergy.” It will not coun­ter­act cli­mate change or ben­e­fit the peo­ple of New­found­land and Labrador. On the con­trary. It is a gross waste of pub­lic money, a be­trayal of democ­racy and the pub­lic trust, and an un-nat­u­ral dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen.

I await your re­sponse and your as­sur­ance that the above de­mands are be­ing met.

He­len Forsey,

Pouch Cove, N.L. and Om­pah, Ont.

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