Premier seeks answers on sudden Labrador flooding No doubt people are fearful

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Premier Dwight Ball says he wants answers about what happened last week when people had to be swiftly airlifted out of Mud Lake, N.L., as the Churchill River suddenly rose downstream from the massive new Muskrat Falls hydro development.Many of the 70 residents are asking whether operations at the megaproject are to blame for conditions never seen by people who’ve lived there for decades, Ball said in an interview Wednesday.“There’s no doubt people are fearful and wondering if this could happen again. We’ve got to make sure that we … get an independent assessment done so that we relieve this fear.“People need answers.”The mostly seasonal Labrador community was swamped May 17 after ice jammed nearby where the Churchill River meets Lake Melville.Ball said the province is now seeking independent consultants to review water flow records, along with traditional knowledge from elders of the region.“They’re very gentle people,” Ball said of residents he met during a tour of the area Monday. “They’re not really pointing fingers at anyone at this point, they’re just saying: ‘I was raised there. I was born there. I’ve never seen this before.’”Nor could they remember their parents ever describing such rapid and severe flooding, Ball said. The difference this year, many residents told him, is the Muskrat Falls development upstream.The $11.7-billion project now under construction near Happy Valley-Goose Bay has bloated in cost by more than $4 billion from original estimates and is well behind schedule. Spillway gates at Muskrat Falls that control reservoir levels are functional. Ball said Crown corporation Nalcor Energy will be asked about any water manipulations as part of the assessment.“Nalcor will be directed to participate about anything that they would have done in recent months that could have potentially contributed to this.”Ball said no timeline has been confirmed but a public report will be released as soon as possible.As of Wednesday, 48 structures at Mud Lake had been inspected and 31 were approved to have power turned back on, he said. Insurance adjusters have begun estimating damages and the provincial government is accepting applications for disaster relief.Some displaced residents are being housed at the 5-Wing Goose Bay military base, Ball said.In an emailed statement, Nalcor said it will co-operate with the assessment.“Nalcor will fully support all ongoing efforts and analysis to determine if its operations contributed to this event.”The statement stressed that gates at the Muskrat Falls spillway have been moving up and down for several months “as part of regular operations to maintain a consistent water level.”“As a result of the spring melt, more water flows into the reservoir and therefore our gates open to allow that naturally occurring inflow to pass through the spillway. By maintaining a constant water level, we did not contribute to any additional water downstream beyond that which is naturally occurring.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more

Live With Kelly and Ryan coming to Niagara Falls Ontario

first_img Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement “Live has had a wonderful relationship with the city and the people of Niagara Falls. Our two previous visits are among our favourite Live remote broadcasts,” executive producer Michael Gelman said in a news release.The visit, of course, comes just in time for Canada 150 celebrations. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Go to KellyandRyan.com for information on how to get tickets to the broadcasts.Live airs Monday to Friday at 9 a.m. on CTV.BY DEBRA YEOcenter_img Advertisement Fresh off the announcement of their new daytime TV partnership comes news that Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest are heading to Niagara Falls, Ont., to tape two episodes of their show.The June 5 and 6 episodes of Live With Kelly and Ryan will broadcast from the Oakes Garden Theatre in the Canadian city, with its views of the American and Horseshoe Falls.It’s not the first time the series has made the trek north of the border. In 1996, when the show was known as Live With Regis and Kathie Lee, and again in 2006 when Ripa had joined Regis Philbin as co-host, the show was aired from the Oakes Garden Theatre. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

More resignations – including losing top lawyer – hit MMIWG inquiry

first_imgKathleen MartensAPTN NewsThe National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is dealing with more resignations.APTN News has learned two key members of the inquiry’s communications team are the latest to depart, meaning nearly 30 staffers have left the federally-funded probe.Shaylen Smith and Nadine Gros-Louis are the latest to go, confirmed Catherine Kloczkowski, special advisor – project management.Gros-Louis took a provincial job with the Quebec government, Kloczkowski said in an email.And Smith is pursuing “new opportunities.”The inquiry is looking to fill two positions until it hands in its final report in spring 2019 on the root causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls.“As you can appreciate,” Kloczkowski added, “with the announcement in June of a six month extension instead of the anticipated two year extension requested, staff are understandably beginning to think about their next steps and career opportunities beyond the National Inquiry.”Smith and Gros-Louis aren’t household names but were go-to personnel for media outlets seeking information and arranging interviews with inquiry commissioners and employees.Jennifer Cox, the commission’s co-lead legal counsel, is also gone, APTN has learned.She followed Breen Ouellette  out the door to become the seventh lawyer to exit the inquiry.Cox was named Project Lead of the Enhanced Child Family Initiative at the Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative in October that will see the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia assume control over child welfare matters.Some former staff members have spoken out in the past – saying the inquiry is hobbled by poor management and infighting.But Chief Commissioner Marion Buller has declined to comment publicly on the turnover, citing privacy around personnel issues.And the lawyers sign contracts that forbid them from sharing any inquiry information.They swear in witnesses and handle sensitive testimony that will form the final report.The inquiry has two final hearings remaining – Nov. 26-30 in Calgary and Dec. 10-14 in Ottawa.The two-year inquiry was established by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in September 2016.His government rejected a request to double the time period – and $50 million in funding – of its mandate.kmartens@aptn.ca@katmartelast_img read more