News Releases

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REF NO.: 7

SUBJECT: Muskrat Falls symposium to be held this weekend at Memorial University

DATE: Sept. 24

The public is welcome to attend a discussion of the problems associated with the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam, which are changing the social, cultural and environmental life in the province. At this symposium questions that you won’t hear at the public inquiry will be addressed such as: How can a $13 billion investment in energy security result in energy being more expensive, and less accessible?
A wide range of speakers from here and abroad will share what they know and join in a discussion about the controversial aspects of the project including: the threat of methylmercury and flooding along the Churchill River; the economics of electrical utilities; the right to accessible energy and protection from harm; the rights of Indigenous people in Labrador; the social cost of public debt; the role of art and journalism in giving voice to public concerns.
The event is free and open to the public and will take place Sept. 28, 7:30-9 p.m. and Sept. 29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Engineering Building, room 2006. Free parking is available in lot 27.
A complete schedule is available at Please use the hashtag #MuskratMUN.
Speakers include:

  • Journalist Justin Brake (charged while covering protests in Labrador and later received an award from the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom)
  • Members of the Labrador Land Protectors (Denise Cole, Roberta Benefiel, Tracey Doherty) 
  • Graduate students from Scotland, England and Canada who are doing research on the project’s political, social and medical effects (Neria Aylward, Kyla Braff, Emily Philpott, Jessica Penney)
  • Artists LizSolo, Rhonda Pelley, Gerald Vanderring and Lisa Moore who have all made artworks about the project
  • Swedish geotechnical engineers Lennart Elfgren and Stig Bernander, who have raised concerns about the stability of the North Spur
  • Prof. Shiri Pasternak from Ryerson University, author of Grounded Authority: The Algonquins of Barriere Against the State
  • Des Sullivan, AKA author/blogger Uncle Gnarley
  • David Vardy, former chair of the Public Utilities Board (PUB)
  • Jim Feehan, Memorial University economist who has recently conducted research on the economic effects of increasing electrical prices

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For more information and interview requests, please contact Dr. Stephen Crocker, Department of Sociology, at (709) 770-5740 or


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