Protesters have breached the gate at the Muskrat Falls construction site.
About 50 people led by a group from Rigolet cut the lock on the gate at about 3 p.m. Saturday and headed toward the construction site. They want Nalcor to delay flooding of the reservoir until all soil and vegetation are removed because of concerns about methylmercury contaminating the food supply in Lake Melville.
Hundreds more protesters were blocked by police. Some are moving toward Universal Helicopters, which has been flying workers to the camp, and the North Spur, another source of contention because of fears that quick clay could cause the dam to breach.
Nalcor issued a statement Saturday afternoon warning of safety concerns.
“Muskrat Falls is a very busy and active work site and entering the site poses significant safety risks to everyone,” the Nalcor statement said. “We are urging everyone currently at the Muskrat Falls site to exercise extreme caution. We are concerned about people’s safety and we want everyone to be safe at this time. Nalcor’s operations team at Muskrat Falls is managing the situation and have taken a number of measures to secure the site to ensure the safety of people, facilities and equipment.”
Nalcor also stated that flooding of the reservoir has not started yet, adding that no decision has been made on when it will start.
Three protesters on a hunger strike are flying to Ottawa to make their case to a national audience on Parliament Hill.
NTV’s Ryan Harding is covering the protest in Labrador and will have more on the NTV Sunday Evening Newshour.