For immediate release
October 26, 2016
Since the Nunatsiavut Government’s commissioned research was released last spring, Labradorians have been deeply concerned about human impacts downstream from the Muskrat Falls project might be higher than previously anticipated. I have been working with federal, provincial, and Indigenous officials to determine the best path forward to protect Indigenous food security and Labradorians safety.
I have had concerns about the Muskrat Falls project since the very beginning. As a provincial legislator, I voted against this project because it lacked benefits, social license, and power for Labrador communities. Now as MP I still fight for our fair share of benefits and protection of human health of Labradorians. The jobs that were promised to Labradorians we still had to fight for once the project began. As a former MHA and an MP I fought every day for Labradorians who are trying to get work at the Muskrat falls project.
In the past few weeks thousands of people in Labrador, Newfoundland, and across Canada have taken to the ground, social media, and contacted their MHA’s, MP’s, Indigenous leaders and the media. I am proud of their achievements in raising the level of awareness taking the message nationally and internationally. Some have even put their bodies and lives on the line through a hunger strike in a desperate bid to raise awareness of the serious nature of methylmercury.
I have been working with my federal colleagues, Indigenous leaders and with those on the ground, hunger strikers, and the Premier, and provincial government, and scientific community to broker a viable, science based solution that respects Indigenous people and lands.
I am proud of Indigenous leaders and Labradorians who have shown grace, respect and restraint as they stood together in unity like never before in history. Their leadership, and the hard work of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador made today’s announcement possible. Over a thousand stood their ground, many asking where their elected representatives were – we were working hard on your behalf, behind the scenes with every possible person that would listen. No doubt, this could not have been achieved this without the amount of attention you have brought to bear on this issue.
This is an historic achievement for Labrador, bringing not only a new age of unity in Labrador, but raising the bar higher for environmental standards in hydro projects than any other jurisdiction in Canada, and the world, changing the relationship with Indigenous people to ensure human health is paramount.
The federal government has offered scientific expertise to assist the province in ensuring Nalcor meets the approval conditions they agreed to in the Joint Review Panel recommendations.
I am very pleased with the agreement reached between the premier and the Indigenous leaders today. I am especially proud of the leadership shown by Labradorians, particularly the youth involved.
for Yvonne Jones: