What is house arrest like? Two Muskrat Falls protesters explain

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What is house arrest like? Two Muskrat Falls protesters explain

While your own bed is likely more plush than what's provided at Her Majesty's Penitentiary, if you're put under house arrest, you might begin to view your bed — and your home — differently.

Jim Learning and Marjorie Flowers have been confined to their properties since July 31.

They were given house arrest after spending 10 days in jail in St. John's for refusing to stay away from Muskrat Falls.

They'll remain under strict rules until their hearings, which are scheduled for the end of the month.

"I feel like I'm on a precipice of freedom and incarceration, and it's a weird feeling," Flowers said.

"It's like a tease, almost."

Learning, on the other hand, doesn't find it so bad.

"I'm amazed at the fact that they can even do this and consider it, you know, being penalized, really," he said.

"This is not a hardship. This just works with my lifestyle. This is fine."

The rules

The pair are allowed past their properties' boundaries between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. every day for recreational purposes.

On Tuesday mornings, they're given a three-hour block for things like larger shopping trips and medical appointments.

They're also allowed to attend 12-step programs and head out during business hours if required to do so for work.

"[I] have to be watching the time to have to rush back here and then I'm stuck. I feel like I'm stuck again," said Flowers, adding she misses little things like being able to run out for a coffee the most.

There are no ankle monitors, and both said they've only been checked up on once.

"There's a level of trust there," Learning said. "I don't know how that works throughout the system but with me that works just fine because if I give you my word, I'm going to do that."

Learning in court Monday

Learninghas been accused of breaking his house arrest conditions by going to the main gate at Muskrat Falls on Aug. 7.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon at Supreme Court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Flowers, who would ordinarily attend court proceedings of a fellow member of the Labrador Land Protectors group, won't be able to attend Learning's hearing.  

She'll be at home keeping busy at her garden and concentrating on not resenting her home by the end of her forced stay.

"I'm not going to let this incarceration in my own home make me turn against my home or develop negative feelings towards my home," she said.

"I love my home. I worked hard to make my home the way it is. I'm proud of it."