Municipal leaders want in on Muskrat meeting

Labrador mayors say Muskrat Falls meeting between premier and Indigenous leaders should include municipal representation.

On Sunday four municipal leaders from Labrador met in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to discuss their concerns over an upcoming emergency meeting between Premier Dwigt Ball and Labrador’s three Indigenous leaders regarding the growing protests against Muskrat Falls.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay Mayor Jamie Snook, North West River Mayor Ernie McLean, Rigolet Mayor Jack Shiwak, and Cartwright Mayor Dwight Lethbridge say they want municipal representation Tuesday’s meeting with the premier, and they want the meeting moved to Central Labrador, the homeland of those who will be most impacted by the dam.

“The issues stemming from Muskrat Falls have serious implications for the municipalities in the region, and the important voices from the municipal level of politics needs to be represented at this meeting,” the mayors said in a press release issued Sunday.

The mayors are also calling for grassroots representation in Tuesday’s meeting.

“Local people should never have been left out of the discussions,” said Snook, who was elected by the group to represent the municipalities should they be given a seat at the table.

“This process needs to be accountable to the people,” said Lethbridge, who was among those who stormed the main gate at the Muskrat Falls site Saturday, though he later turned back to return elders to the main site.

The four Mayors have long been advocating for the inclusion of all stakeholders in these dialogues and debates, and continue to push for representation at this important meeting, they said.

Land protectors, who have been occupying the main workers’ camp at Muskrat Falls since Saturday evening, originally called for four seats at the table, one each for the three Indigenous groups as well as settler Labradorians.

However, on Sunday morning they reached out to all three Indigenous leaders, two of whom said they will try to meet the protectors on the Muskrat Falls site prior to Tuesday’s meeting with the premier.

NunatuKavut President Todd Russell and Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe indicated to protectors Sunday that they will try to visit the site.

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