Cabinet ministers request emergency debate over Nova Scotia treaty dispute

Indigenous leader demands protection after lobster pound blaze

Fire destroys lobster pound in Nova Scotia, police say man in hospital with injuries

Following a cabinet meeting Thursday, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said he was "extremely disappointed" by the federal response to date around the Indigenous lobster fishery.

"That's why a lot of people are sick, that's why we keep calling Indigenous people and communities the most vulnerable during this pandemic time, because they haven't been given the right and access to live out what they have a treaty right to, living off the land and supporting their families through these practices that have been there for many, many generations", she said. The incident happened on Wednesday outside a lobster facility in New Edinburgh.

More RCMP sent to N.S.


In addition to the new RCMP deployment on the ground, Sack said that he hopes there is increased enforcement on the water.

"It is a peacekeeping operation and it is the responsibility of the police", he said.

Over the past month, Mi'kmaq fishers in Nova Scotia have been subject to threats, theft, vandalism and suspected arson as they practiced their right to fish outside the commercial fishing season.

"The current tensions can not continue", Blair added.

We've been very fortunate that so far, nobody has been seriously injured, but if the federal government doesn't act soon, it is quite possible someone will lose their life and the situation may pass a point in which a real solution is possible without further violence.

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Eveleigh said RCMP in Nova Scotia requested assistance from the P.E.I. officers.

A New Brunswick MP says he has been horrified by the "violence, intimidation, racism, and property destruction" seen during a fishery dispute in southwestern Nova Scotia.

"These officers are conducting supplemental uniform patrols to high risk areas maintaining a strong presence", he said.

Various federal ministers said Sack's concerns for his community were well-founded.

"We both agree", he said.

The National Police Federation, which represents roughly 20,000 RCMP members, reinforced this stance on Monday Oct. 19, 2020, calling the matter political, rather than criminal.

"Disputes related to fisheries laws are, regrettably, not new". "We're focused on keeping people safe".

A Supreme Court decision in 1999, known as the Marshall decision, ruled that Mi'kmaq people had an inherent right to fish outside of the commercial season for food or to earn "a moderate livelihood". Multiple parties have called for a clearer definition of that term. That total includes three commercial vessels operated by the Sipekne'katik band.

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"The recent acts of violence in Nova Scotia are unacceptable and I strongly condemn them", he said in a statement.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said the government is not doing enough to ensure public safety and find a peaceful resolution to the fisheries crisis.

Commercial fishermen have also expressed concern with the conservation of fish and lobster stocks.

The disputed lobster fishing area 34 is the largest lobster fishing area in Canada. A later SCC decision said the government could pose restrictions on that right, such as for conservation reasons, but should justify it. She said a blanket definition was not an option. "We don't have millions of people, but we can stay in solidarity with our people".

Sack could not be reached for comment Monday. "We understand the passion that they're bringing to the table".

It's now up to Speaker Anthony Rota to decide whether the issue merits an emergency debate.

The request for an emergency debate was first issued by NDP MP Gord Johns on Sunday.

Commercial fishers told CTV News they were there to ensure Federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Bernadette Jordan does her job, and allows DFO to do its job.

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