Learn why this Canadian hydroelectric dam is bad for the environment and communities.

The Canadian government is on a dam-building boom and wants to dam 60% more of the country’s rivers. In the Eastern Canadian Province of Labrador, Nalcor Energy and Hydro-Quebec already have two massive hydroelectric facilities on the Mistashipu or Grand River (also known as the Churchill River) in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The River is under attack again. Nalcor Energy plans to build Gull Island, a 2,250-megawatt hydroelectric facility, three times larger than Muskrat Falls. The construction of Gull Island will involve flooding 232 square kilometers of land and some of the last remaining free-flowing streams and tributaries to the Mistashipu River. It will cut off the last 35% of the river’s flow. Most of the electricity from Muskrat Falls and Gull Island will be exported out of the province and likely to the U.S.

This hydroelectricity is dirty energy – and is not clean, green, or renewable. Damming rivers harms biodiversity, the climate, and communities. 

Across Eastern Canada Hydro-Quebec and Nalcor have dammed and diverted tens of thousands of square miles. Canada has over 15,000 dams and most of these destructive projects are environmental, economic, and climate disasters.


Amy Norman, Indigenous community member from Labrador and Labrador Land Protectors: Impacts of Muskrat Falls and Gull Island Development on communities. 

Meg Sheehan, Coordinator, North American Megadam Resistance Alliance: Overview of hydro dam and transmission corridor development across Canada and various resistance efforts. 

Roberta Benefiel, Grand Riverkeeper Labrador: History of Muskrat Falls and Gull Island development. 

Dr. Ian Goudie, Ph.D., Wildlife Ecologist, expert in old-growth boreal forest forests; co-founder, Tree of Life Sustainabiility Project Inc: What happened to the environmental assesment of downstream impacts of the Muskrat Falls megadam.