Canada Lobster dispute: RCMP release images of men near fish plant that burned to the ground
Five things to know about the dispute over Nova Scotia's Indigenous lobster fishery
HALIFAX — Tensions remain high in the dispute over the Indigenous lobster fishery in Nova Scotia. Here are five things to know about the situation. 1. The dispute has a long history. In September 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the treaty rights of the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy bands in Eastern Canada to hunt, fish and gather to earn a "moderate livelihood." The court decided that a Mi'kmaq fisherman from Cape Breton, Donald Marshall Jr., had the right to fish for eels and sell them when and where he wanted — without a licence.
HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia RCMP released images Friday showing two men walking away from a fish plant on the night it burned to the ground amid an escalating dispute over an Indigenous lobster fishery.
Yarmouth County RCMP described the men as persons of interest.
The grainy images were captured Oct. 16 outside the plant in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., around the same time a suspicious fire broke out near midnight.
The plant was storing lobster caught by the Sipekne'katik First Nation, which attracted national attention last month when it started setting lobster traps in St. Marys Bay before the start of the federally regulated fishing season.
Boycott lobster imports not caught by Mi'kmaq fishers, Assembly of First Nations says
Canada's First Nations are calling for a boycott of all imports of Maritime lobster and lobster products that are not harvested by Mi'kmaq fishers. Kevin Hart, the Manitoba regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, has reached out to the European Union, urging them to support the Mi'kmaw moderate livelihood fishery. "Canadian exports of lobster to Europe are worth about $175 million per year. A European trade boycott of non-Indigenous lobster in support of the treaty rights of Mi'kmaq fishers would be consistent with the European Parliament's resolution to respect and support the rights and personal safety of Indigenous people," Hart said.
The Mi'kmaq band has said it has the treaty right to fish, hunt and gather where and when it wants, as spelled out in a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision.
Video: Fire cause deemed accidental in fatal Penticton fire (Global News)
A day after the fire at the plant, police confirmed they were aware of a person of interest with life-threatening injuries believed to be related to the fire, but no other details have been released since then.
In the security video footage released Friday, two men can be seen walking through the darkness along a gravel path beside what appears to be a large building flanked by refrigeration gear, crates and other equipment.
A light on the side of the building illuminates the scene, which appears to show one man in a hooded jacket supporting the second man, who is wearing shorts and is limping as he appears to be wearing only one shoe.
At the top of the frame, an intense orange light varies in intensity, but it's unclear what the source is.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2020
The Canadian Press
Lobster dispute: RCMP release images of men near fish plant that burned to the ground .
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