Health Care

Lobster facility fire in Nova Scotia 'suspicious,' Canadian minister says

Lobster facility fire in Nova Scotia 'suspicious,' Canadian minister says”

"We have been working with the Mi'kmaq to implement their Treaty right - and we will continue to do so".

Since the Mi'kmaq fishery opened in September, there have been attacks on it from non-Indigenous fishers.

Blair said investigative teams are now gathering evidence "to support any additional criminal charges necessary" and said provincial authorities will release further details as they become available.

There are 1,097 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, but 1,026 cases are considered resolved, and 65 people have died - leaving six active cases in the province.

In a statement Saturday on Twitter, McNeil said the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans needs to answer the question of what a moderate livelihood looks like before the province can examine its own rules for fish buyers.

Tense confrontations have taken place during the past several weeks between commercial and Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia, who are exerting their right to fish outside Canada's federally regulated fishing season.

His comments came after multiple acts of violence against Indigenous fishers in southwestern Nova Scotia.

"We're Canadians. We should expect that dialogue is always the way to solve our problems, not through violence", he said.

"I can accept that Indigenous people may have seen acts of violence perpetrated against them that the RCMP walked away from, too", he said.

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Both sides want Ottawa to step in to help resolve the issue.

Nova Scotia RCMP say that a guy is now in hospital with life threatening injuries considered to be associated with a massive fire which ruined a half-dozen in northeastern Nova Scotia immediately.

The Mounties have made two arrests in relation to the incidents, with one man charged with assault against a local Indigenous chief and another man charged with arson for allegedly burning a vehicle.

"I'm once again calling on Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau along with the RCMP to give the required resources for this area to protect everybody", he explained in a statement Saturday morning.

"The perpetrators will be held accountable", he said Saturday on Twitter, noting that Ottawa has approved the request to provide more policing support.

But he said some of the "damage, destruction, racist behaviour, harassment and intimidation" could have been avoided had repeated requests for a greater police presence been addressed more promptly. "We pray for strength and courage and for everyone to be safe", Sack told CTV News.

However Sack argues Native individuals in Atlantic Canada and Quebec have a treaty right to fish for a moderate livelihood in which and if they desire, dependent on a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision which cites treaties accepted by the Crown at the 1700s.

Many non-Indigenous critics, however, cite a clarification issued by the court, stating the treaty rights would be subject to federal regulations.

The press conference followed a request from the NDP and four cabinet ministers for a debate in the House of Commons about the dispute after a weekend of further turmoil when a fire destroyed a lobster pound used by Mi'kmaw fishers.

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