Tag Archives: RCMP

Nova Scotia: Prosecutors add charges for 25 in lobster pound riot

Prosecutors have added more charges against 25 people accused of entering and ransacking a Nova Scotia lobster pound at the centre of a dispute about an Indigenous self-regulated fishery. Crown lawyer Robert Kennedy, however, said in an interview Tuesday the prosecution is willing to discuss “resolutions” for “at least some” of the accused, which would avoid further court proceedings. In January 2021, the RCMP announced that 23 people were facing a charge of break and enter, with eight also charged with mischief, for their roles in the Oct. 14, 2020, incident at the facility in Middle West Pubnico, N.S. >click to read< 14:55

In Labrador, desperate pleas for search and rescue resources still unanswered

Dwight Russell can’t forget the apologetic words from one of the RCMP officers who came to his door on a Sunday evening in September. “We just don’t have the adequate resources to be able to do this,”,,, Mr. Russell’s son Marc Russell and his crewmate Joey Jenkins had been missing for two days after their boat failed to return to the wharf in Mary’s Harbour, a fishing community of about 350 people in southern Labrador. In this corner of Newfoundland and Labrador, where fishing is a lifeblood for many, the pair weren’t just missing fishermen, they were “Marc” and “Joey.” >click to read<, other related posts, >click here< 09:08

Indian Brook man charged with allegedly threatening fishery officers in St. Marys Bay

In a news release, RCMP said the fisherman was following a coast guard vessel and came “dangerously close” to the bow. A collision was avoided because of maneuvers made by the captain of the coast guard boat. RCMP said the fisherman then threatened fishery officers who were aboard another boat working in the area. >click to read< 13:04

A year ago violence erupted in the lobster fishery, “moderate livelihood” fishery status unresolved

One year ago, confrontation and violence upended the normally business-like commercial lobster season in St. Mary’s Bay and Lobster Fishing Area 35 in southwest Nova Scotia. Tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen in the bay had erupted in several dangerous boat-ramming incidents.,, But a full year later, as the wheels of justice turn ever so slowly, none of those charged have entered a plea. Before we examine how that happened, it’s worth noting some updates in the troubled fishery. >click to read< 10:07

Potlotek chief says lobster traps were seized on first day of fall fishery

A spokesperson from the department of fisheries and oceans confirmed fisheries officers seized 216 traps in St. Peter’s Bay between Wednesday and Thursday for a variety of reasons, including improper tagging and unauthorized tags, adding an investigation is ongoing and no further details will be provided at this time. “It’s like playing the lottery, You put (the traps) out and then you go out to check if you won or you lost. You don’t know if all your gear will be gone when you go out, and I’m just getting sick and tired of it,” he said. This is Cremo’s first season fishing and he said he loves it. He gives half of his catch away to community members and sells the other half to cover his costs. >click to read< 11:56

Search called off for missing Mary’s Harbour fishermen

The RCMP is calling off search efforts for two missing fishermen in Mary’s Harbour after 10 days and 9,460 square nautical miles of area covered.,, “All known areas of interest or abnormality have been explored with the use of trained spotters in the air, a side-scan sonar device, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and other specialized underwater equipment,” the RCMP said.  “The two men and their vessel remain missing.” The missing men are Marc Russell and Joey Jenkins, who were on board their vessel, the Island Lady. They were last heard from around 4 p.m. on Sept. 17. >click to read< 13:31

Search expands for missing Labrador fishermen, family and friends hold out hope

The search for Marc Russell and Joey Jenkins of Mary’s Harbour is now in its fifth day, with a large dive team from the RCMP’s underwater recovery team and Deer Lake ground search and rescue en route to the community Wednesday afternoon. The Ocean Seeker, a vessel equipped with advanced underwater imaging and owned by Kraken Robotics, has also been greenlighted to join the search and is on its way. “We were very proud yesterday after asking RCMP to to look into that asset, and last night it came true and they should be here tomorrow,” said Dwight Russell, Marc Russell’s father. >click to read< 15:55

Search resumes for missing Mary’s Harbour fishermen with Canadian Armed Forces, Coast Guard

The search for two missing fishermen from Mary’s Harbour has resumed with the help of the Canadian Armed Forces and the coast guard Monday, after the official search off the coast of southern Labrador was called off Sunday night. The JRCC tweeted around 9 p.m. Sunday that it had suspended the search for the Island Lady,,, Dwight Russell told CBC News on Monday morning his family was told the news around 7 p.m Sunday. After that call, he and his family pressed federal departments like the office of the prime minister, he said, and had been promised the search would resume. But come Monday morning and that promise “has not materialized,,, >click to read< 14:25

‘Our boys deserve more time’ – “This is unacceptable! This is absolutely the wrong decision! It is too soon!”

The father of one of the two men aboard a fishing vessel lost in waters off southern Labrador is appealing to the Canadian Coast Guard to reverse its decision to change its mission from one of search and rescue to recovery. Local fishermen began the search, which was later joined by the Coast Guard and aircraft at the direction of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax.,, Dwight Russell said the family learned of Coast Guard’s plans Sunday evening. “But as I write this, the Coast Guard has informed our families that they are pulling out and changing the mission from search & rescue to recovery, and operational control will be turned over to the RCMP. >click to read< 08:36

RCMP charge second man in relation to 2020 fish plant fire

RCMP in Nova Scotia have charged a second man with arson in relation to a fire that destroyed a fish plant in 2020 amid tensions over a Mi’kmaq lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia.,, Investigators determined the fire was the result of arson. Police say they arrested Sean Roy Messenger, 29, of Shelburne County without incident on Wednesday. Messenger has been charged with arson. He was released on a promise to appear before a judge in Yarmouth Provincial Court. In July, 24-year-old Brendan Douglas James Porter, of East Pubnico, was also arrested and charged with arson,    >click to read< 17:08

RCMP investigating Mi’kmaq lobster boat tie-up line slashing allegation

The RCMP are opening a criminal investigation into a report that nine lobster fishing boats operated by Mi’kmaq fishers were purposely cut loose from a wharf Thursday in southwestern Nova Scotia. Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack has alleged the boats were cast adrift from their berths in Weymouth North, N.S., to damage the band’s property and intimidate its fishers. The Mounties said in an email today they are taking the complaint seriously and looking into the matter. video, >click to read< 11:47

Man charged with arson for fish plant fire

A 24-year-old man from East Pubnico, N.S., is facing a charge of arson in connection with a lobster pound fire in Middle West Pubnico, last October. RCMP say they were called to the fish plant near midnight on Oct. 16, 2020, after receiving a report of a fire. The fire destroyed the plant, which was unoccupied at the time. Brendon Douglas James Porter of East Pubnico was arrested on Wednesday and charged with arson. He has been released on conditions and is scheduled to appear in Shelburne provincial court next month. >click to read< 14:14

Chief worried that harassment by ‘fish cops’ of First Nations could lead to violence

Chief Allan Adam, grand chief of Justice for Treaty 8 nations, says he’s tired of his people being “portrayed as criminals” for hunting and fishing, as is their right to do, without provincial licenses. He also says he’s tired of “fish cops (that) are more racist than the RCMP.” Last month, the Sovereign Nations of Treaty No. 8 launched a campaign introducing incident report forms in an effort to capture every time-past and current-that members have been “harassed, racially profiled, or discriminated against,  while expressing (their) inherent harvesting rights” by the RCMP, Fish and Wildlife officers, Conservation officers, sheriffs, government employees and others. >click to read< 19:46

International: BC crab poacher has to pay more than $12,000 in penalties

An almost three-year legal odyssey for a persistent local crab poacher, one that involved three enforcement agencies in two countries, ended in Surrey Provincial Court with a conviction, more than $12,000 in penalties, and a five-year ban on fishing anywhere in B.C. But the offender managed to keep his boat after his Canadian court date, unlike what happened to him in the U.S. legal system. >click to read< 10:10

As tensions rose during N.S. fisheries dispute, province balked at paying for extra RCMP

The Mounties have faced scrutiny for their handling of the tensions that followed the launch in September of Sipekne’katik First Nation’s self regulated fishery in St. Marys Bay. Critics included federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller who said the force should have done more to protect Mi’kmaw harvesters,,, It’s unclear what impact, if any, the financial approvals had on the RCMP’s staffing plans. “The number and type of RCMP resources that were deployed was based on operational needs,” Cpl. Chris Marshall, an RCMP spokesperson, said in an email. “In order to protect officer and public safety, we don’t discuss our operations, tactics and resources.” >click to read< 07:55

Canada’s lobster dispute goes international – UN committee seeks answers from Canada over racism, violence against Mi’kmaw fishers

The chair for the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) asked Leslie Norton, Canada’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland to explain what Canada has done to Investigate alleged acts of racism, violence and vandalism against Mi’kmaw fishers and supporters, Investigate alleged lack of response by officers with the RCMP and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to protect Mi’kmaw people,,, The UN committee has given Norton until July 14 to provide a response. Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack said he was happy to see the letter from the UN committee. “It shows some hope that Canada has to answer for their actions or their lack of actions,” >click to read< 12:38

Canada’s lobster dispute goes international -Indigenous fishers say they have treaty and Supreme Court rights to fish where and when they want,,, Commercial fishers say the season is regulated and limited in order to conserve the resource,,, >click to read<

RCMP investigating gear slashing near Petit-de-Grat, Potlotek lobster traps seized for a ‘variety of reasons,’ says DFO

A dispute in a Cape Breton fishing community is being investigated by the Nova Scotia RCMP. Police described it as a case of “mischief,” and estimated the total financial loss for the traps and lobster is approximately $10,000. RCMP confirm there is no connection between this incident and reports of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans seizing traps from nearby Potlotek First Nation. >click to read< Potlotek Chief Wilbert Marshall   says federal government failing to accommodate treaty rights – A Mi’kmaw chief in Nova Scotia says a lobster fisherman whose traps were seized last week was fishing in accordance with his treaty rights. The seizure took place on April 30, the first day of the Potlotek First Nation’s spring lobster season. DFO said the removal of gear in St. Peters Bay was part of routine inspections to ensure the individual was compliant with the Fisheries Act. >click to read< 18:55

Injured N.S. lobster fisherman Andrew Saulnier is overwhelmed by ‘unbelievable’ community support

“It’s unbelievable how much the community can actually come together to help somebody. I can’t thank anyone enough … Andrew Saulnier struggles to find the words to describe his last few weeks. The 24-year-old fisherman suffered life-threatening injuries on a lobster boat. Saulnier has dealt with multiple surgeries, including a leg amputation, but said the outpouring of support from friends, family and the community has been truly incredible. “It’s unreal, that’s part of the reason why I’m so emotional,” RCMP have said the fisherman got caught in the machinery when the vessel’s engine went into gear. It’s a long road ahead. Please donate >click here< if you can!  >click to read< 13:23

FV Tyhawk: Missing fisherman’s brother says he drowned trying to save others

As Derek Sock raced to his brother’s sinking fishing boat on Saturday, Craig Sock was fighting to save his shipmates in the frigid waters 16 nautical miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. The Tyhawk was making its second run of the day to set lobster traps when it began to take on water. As the crew tried to ready the life raft, the Tyhawk suddenly capsized, trapping Jumbo, as Craig Sock of Elsipogtog First Nation was known, and another man in the wheelhouse. Jumbo managed to toss that man out a window and both men surfaced. Derek said his brother lost his life trying to save his crew mate. >click to read< 07:57

Sipekne’katik First Nation has filed a lawsuit against non-Indigenous fishers, the RCMP and the Feds

In a statement of claim filed Friday with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, the Sipekne’katik First Nation alleges that commercial fishermen stole and damaged hundreds of band members’ traps and engaged in a co-ordinated campaign of intimidation and harassment. The lawsuit alleges that between 75 and 100 boats operated by non-Indigenous fishers headed to St. Marys Bay near Saulnierville, N.S., where they were used in late September 2020 to “intimidate and harass one or more of the plaintiffs, and to steal or damage their lobster traps.” None of the allegations has been proven in court. A representative for the non-Indigenous fishers could not be reached for comment. >click to read< 19:01

More than $200K raised for families of fishermen lost aboard the F/V Chief William Saulis

More than $200,000 have been raised to provide monetary donations to the families of the fishers who went missing off the coast of Delaps Cove, N.S., according to Full Bay Scallop Association and Yarmouth Sea Products. The association set up ‘The Chief William Saulis Benevolent Fund Trust’ in December of last year with funds raised through a GoFundMe page and contributions from the vessel owners and other members of the association following the tragic incident. The association said that contributions can be made to the account at any branch of the credit union, and will cover the following expenses: >click to read< 07:14

F/V Chief William Saulis: Families say everything possible should be done to recover bodies from sunken boat

Laura Smith, the sister and next of kin of Gabriel, says it would give her family closure to have her brother’s body back home, and she favours raising the boat for further investigation if it can be done without endangering lives. “We all would like to see the boat raised and the bodies returned for closure and to have a proper burial,”,,, “As long as I know they have done everything in their power, until they can’t do more, I’ll be happy with that.” Lori Phillips, Cogswell’s mother, said she continues to expect a federal agency, whether it’s the RCMP or the Transportation Safety Board, to inspect the sunken boat with the ROV, and she believes it should be raised. “We need the final ritual. . . . I’d like to have him home,” she said. >click to read< 11:18

F/V Chief William Saulis: Commercial fishing vessel located upright after month-long search

One month and one day since it was lost at sea, the Chief William Saulis scallop dragger has been found. The RCMP says the fishing vessel was located underwater more than two kilometres from the shore of Delaps Cove, Annapolis County. The vessel, the RCMP said, was upright. Because of the depth of where the vessel is – which is greater than 60 metres and exceeds the maximum depth for the RCMP Underwater Recovery Teams (URT) – the RCMP says the next steps to search the inside of the vessel are to be determined. >click to read<, to be updated. 09:50

Chief William Saulis: Search for missing scallop dragger shifts to new areas

The RCMP says the search for five missing scallop fishermen and their boat that sank off southwest Nova Scotia has moved to new targeted areas. The Mounties say a search of areas in the Bay of Fundy identified by GPS co-ordinates and other information failed to locate the Chief William Saulis. >click to read< RCMP eliminate some potential sites of missing scallop boat – underwater recovery teams have checked several areas of the Bay of Fundy where they had indication that the missing scallop fishing boat Chief William Saulis may be located, but has determined that the targets identified were not the vessel. The recovery teams, which are from Nova Scotia and British Columbia,,, >click to read< 07:55

F/V Chief William Saulis – New ROV brought in as search for missing fishermen continues

RCMP searchers are deploying a new remote operated underwater vehicle in their ongoing search for the missing crew of the scallop dragger Chief William Saulis. According to a police news release, the Nova Scotia RCMP got the ROV, which is equipped with a “Tritech Gemini multi-beam sonar,” from RCMP in British Columbia. “This equipment is newer technology then what has previously been used and will assist members in the search for the sunken vessel,”>click to read< 07:40

Sonar tech company says RCMP declined offer to help find F/V Chief William Saulis

Kraken Robotics offered to deploy its ultra-high-resolution sonar system in effort to find the Chief William Saulis, which went down last month in stormy seas near Digby, N.S., with six men on board. “We just wanted to help. And that’s what’s confounding us,” said Karl Kenny, CEO and president of Kraken Robotics.,, Sgt. Andrew Joyce, a spokesperson for the RCMP, said the force frequently gets offers to assist in high-profile cases. He said the force may still take Kraken up on its offer, but for now it has the resources it needs, including sonar. >click to read< 12:57

ROV introduced into search for F/V Chief William Saulis and missing fishermen

On Friday the RCMP, in partnership with the Canadian Coast Guard who provided a platform, and Canada Border Services Agency providing a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), were on the water continuing the search. The search did not locate the missing vessel, a Jan. 2 media release update reads. Due to unfavourable and deteriorating conditions, there is no search activity happening on Jan. 2 “Expectations are to return to the water Jan. 3 to resume the search, weather and water conditions permitting,” the RCMP says. >click to read< 07:07

The Nova Scotia lobster fishery fight – Year in Review

Sept. 17, the Sipekne’katik First Nation launched a self-regulated lobster fishery outside the federally-regulated commercial fishing season. On Sept. 18, two people are arrested on assault charges following confrontations between Mi’kmaq and non-Indigenous fishers on the wharf of the self-regulated fishery in Weymouth, N.S. This was the beginning of a showdown that would spark solidarity rallies across the country. “We all have Indigenous blood. We always worked side by side. The Acadians are not racist. We know they (Indigenous fishers) have rights, but we can’t respect what’s happening in St. Mary’s Bay.  Video, >click to read< 08:29

Chief William Saulis: RCMP to use sonar in effort to locate missing Nova Scotia scallop dragger

In a news release Tuesday morning, RCMP say the aerial search would resume, weather permitting, after it was paused on Monday, and an underwater recovery team would join the efforts and explore the water with sonar equipment. RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Joyce said the sonar search was dependent on conditions and it was not clear, as of late morning, whether the underwater crew would be able to start Tuesday. The goal, he said, is to locate the vessel. >click to read< 10:58

Crew of five abandons vessel and makes it to shore

A fishing vessel went aground in rough surf off Yarmouth Bar early on Dec. 15. Lieutenant commander Brian Owens, senior public affairs officer with Joint Task Force (Atlantic) and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Halifax, says the centre received a call at 6:12 a.m. “The vessel went aground from all indications and five persons onboard abandoned the vessel, but thankfully, made it ashore,” he said. >click to read< 15:15