Canada Indigenous lobster fishery presses ahead despite confrontations in Nova Scotia
Federal government rejects lobster quota for commercial inshore fleet
The Trudeau government says it will not impose a quota on the Atlantic Canadian commercial inshore lobster fishery, rejecting a proposal floated by several Mi'kmaw leaders. Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan issued a statement Friday after meeting with commercial fishermen the day before. "As confirmed in that meeting, there is no plan to move to a quota system for the commercial lobster fishery and it is not being considered,"Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan issued a statement Friday after meeting with commercial fishermen the day before.
DIGBY, N.S. — A First Nations chief says his band's self-regulated lobster fishery in Nova Scotia will press ahead despite opposition from non-Indigenous commercial fishers that erupted in threats and violence this week.
Chief Mike Sack of the Sipekne'katik First Nation is expected to hold a news conference today after angry mobs damaged two facilities that handle lobster catches from Mi'kmaq fishers on Tuesday night.
Blair approves request to boost RCMP presence as Nova Scotia lobster fishery dispute escalates
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has greenlighted a request for additional RCMP support in Nova Scotia amid criticism that Ottawa has not done enough to protect community members embroiled in a bitter conflict over a First Nations lobster harvest in that province. "Policing in Nova Scotia is within provincial jurisdiction," Blair said in a statement released Saturday. "I have now approved a request from Nova Scotia's attorney general to enhancePublic Safety Minister Bill Blair has greenlighted a request for additional RCMP support in Nova Scotia amid criticism that Ottawa has not done enough to protect community members embroiled in a bitter conflict over a First Nations lobster harvest in that province.
The non-Indigenous protesters have said they are opposed to a decision by the First Nation to start a commercial lobster fishing business that has operated outside the federally regulated lobster season since mid-September.
Sack has argued that Indigenous people in Atlantic Canada and Quebec have a treaty right to fish where and when they want, based on a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision that affirmed that right.
Video: Violent protests over Mi'kmaw fishery in Nova Scotia (Global News)
Meanwhile, the chief is asking his people not to react to the latest incidents and to avoid violence, saying he wants them "to take the high road."
RCMP have confirmed that about 200 people were present at two violent clashes Tuesday outside lobster pounds in New Edinburgh and Middle West Pubnico.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2020.
The Canadian Press
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