Monday, 20 May 2019

This weekend’s video is the official trailer for the award winning and stunning documentary People of a Feather, about the unique relationship between Eider ducks and the Inuit on the Belcher Islands in Canada’s Hudson Bay, and how that relationship is disrupted by massive hydroelectric dams powering New York and eastern North America. The film will be screened on Monday evening May 13, and will be followed by a panel discussion on Muskrat Falls, where local Indigenous people face mercury poisoning so that Newfoundland and Nova Scotia politicians can claim that through “clean and green” energy they are fighting climate change.

The latest on the prosecution of journalist Justin Brake, and how you can help. 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 he deserves our support.

This weekend we feature In the shadow of the dam, APTN’s brand new and excellent documentary on the indigenous resistance to the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador. You can’t condemn environmental racism and violation of Indigenous rights in Nova Scotia, and remain silent on what’s happening in Labrador right now. It’s that simple.

Roberta Benefiel, founding director of  Grand Riverkeeper, Labrador, is visiting Nova Scotia to remind us that for the people who live there Muskrat Falls is an environmental disaster that will poison traditional food sources and flood indigenous lands. She believes that through the Maritime Link this is Nova Scotia issue as well. “There may not be that many of us, but people do live here. We need to put a face to these people,” Benefiel tells the Nova Scotia Advocate.

The Muskrat Falls development may be far away in Labrador, but it is very much Nova Scotia’s business. That was the message delivered by speakers at a news conference held outside the Emera / Nova Scotia Power offices on Lower Water Street in downtown Halifax this morning. “What we are seeing is massive destruction and genocide for profit. The crown corporation Nalcor is giving itself the legal authority to commit genocide using water as a vehicle for devastation. Once they drown the landscape, methylmercury poisoning is inevitable.  We are talking mass genocide to all vegetation, medicines and all living species. Lives will be lost,” said Michelle Paul.

The Muskrat Falls project, future source for so-called green electricity for Nova Scotia, is in fact a man-made environmental disaster that has few equals. Meanwhile journalists who report on protests are muzzled, and land defenders continue to be thrown in jail. Progressive politicians in Nova Scotia prefer to look the other way, as if it isn’t our business.

Beatrice Hunter is an Inuk land defender who refused to promise a judge that she would not engage in further protests at Muskrat Falls. Because of that refusal she is now incarcerated in an overpopulated men’s prison in St. John’s, more than 1,000 kilometers from home. Hunter said her decision to remain in prison and not comply with the order to stay away from Muskrat Falls is her way of resisting colonization in Labrador. Nova Scotia, via the Maritime Link, is among those colonizing powers.