KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Yesterday we learned that journalist Justin Brake will continue to face criminal and civil charges for following land protectors when they occupied a building at the Muskrat Falls site for four days in October 2016.
Occupiers were (and remain) worried about methylmercury entering the food chain downstream of the project. Justin Brake at the time reported for the excellent online news site The Independent.
Prosecuted both by the Crown and Nalcor, Brake’s request to have his name removed from the court order was denied by the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. That means he will continue to face criminal prosecution as well as civil litigation by Nalcor
Brake was clearly only doing his job, and this is a terrible blow for press freedom. There is a great op-ed on these latest developments by Ethan Cox in Ricochet.
Anybody anywhere should care about this, but the matter should concern Nova Scotians even more, since our province stands to benefit directly from the Muskrat Falls development via the Maritime Link.
Muskrat Falls may help our province meet its green energy targets, but at what cost? Brake’s reporting raised that uncomfortable question, and for doing so alone he deserves our support.
Tell Newfoundland and Labrador premier Dwight Ball to stop the prosecution of a journalist. (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Click here to donate to The Independent’s defense fund for Justin Brake.
See also: All I am guilty of is being where the story was. Reporter Justin Brake on facing criminal charges
More on the issue of Muskrat Falls and the Nova Scotia connection here.
If you can, please support the Nova Scotia Advocate so that it can continue to cover issues such as poverty, racism, exclusion, workers’ rights and the environment in Nova Scotia. A paywall is not an option, since it would exclude many readers who don’t have any disposable income at all. We rely entirely on one-time donations and a tiny but mighty group of dedicated monthly sustainers.