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Muskrat Falls: Open letter to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador

    Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 10:15
    Photo by Ossie Michelin

    Premier Dwight Ball
    Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

    Dear Premier Ball,

    The Muskrat Falls Dam was approved on the assumption that it would have “no measurable effects” on Inuit people living in the downstream Lake Melville Estuary. We now know that this is not a safe assumption.

    A Harvard University led team of scientists has warned that completion of the Muskrat Fall dam will result in a dramatic increase in exposure to methyl mercury among hundreds of Inuit people who rely on fish, seal, and other wild foods from the downstream Lake Melville Estuary.

    No one should be forced to choose between eating meat contaminated with dangerously high levels of mercury or abandoning a way of life central to who they are.

    The Harvard-led researchers recommended removing all vegetation and topsoil in the reservoir area before flooding, a measure that would help to significantly reduce the formation of methyl mercury and the contamination of the river-system. The majority of members of a provincially-appointed advisory committee have now supported this same recommendation.

    How your government responds to this report will affect the health and well-being of generations Inuit people.

    Amnesty International has stood with the Inuit government of Nunatsiavut in calling on your government to #MakeMuskratRight. More than 7,800 people across Canada have now signed Amnesty International’s on-line petition and the support continues to grow, as the posts below attest.

    In deciding on whether the Muskrat Falls dam proceeds, and under what conditions, your government must make the protection of Inuit health and culture a priority. Quite simply, the Muskrat Falls dam must not be completed unless there are effective protections for the rights and safety of downstream communities.


    Alex Neve

    Secretary General

    Amnesty International Canada
    (English Speaking)

    Geneviève Paul

    Directrice Générale

    Amnistie internationale Canada francophone





    Join the call for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to #MakeMuskratRight. Send tweets to Premier Dwight Ball @PremierofNL  with the hashtag #MakeMuskratRight. Your tweets will be added directly to our online open letter which will be refreshed daily.