Tag Archives: RCMP

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

RCMP arrest four men after alleged shots fired at Indigenous fisher

Officers said they responded to a call of gunfire in the Northumberland Strait near the First Nation at around 5:30 p.m. yesterday. After arriving at the scene, RCMP said they learned a man from the Indigenous band had seen crew members on a fishing vessel removing lobster traps from the water. A 51-year-old man from Pictou County turned himself in Monday evening and was arrested. The other three men from the area were arrested this morning without incident. >click to read< 07:10

RCMP Investigates – Pictou Landing chief says lobster fisher was shot at on the water

RCMP in Pictou County, N.S. have one person in custody after reports of shots fired Sunday in the area of Pictou Landing First Nation. RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau said RCMP responded to the incident around 5:30 p.m. She said she could not provide an exact location of the incident, only that it was “in the Pictou Landing area.” Croteau said no injuries have been reported and a police investigation is ongoing. >click to read< 06:30

‘There’s Death Threats’: Indigenous Fishers Nervous as Nova Scotia’s Commercial Lobster Season Opens

Some Mi’kmaq have fished alongside commercial fishermen on these wharves for years but this year, after violence erupted in the past few months, they’re now divided largely by race—the white Acadian fishermen at Meteghan, and the Mi’kmaq at Saulnierville, with each flying their own flags. A court injunction, sought by the Mi’kmaq, has further separated the two groups, in an effort to prevent any more aggression and harassment towards band members on the Saulnierville wharf and on the water as they continue to fish until Dec. 17, the end of their moderate livelihood plan. The commercial inshore lobster fishery, expected to launch later this week, runs until the end of May. >click to read< 20:37

RCMP charge 22 year old woman with assault amid lobster fishery tensions in southwest Nova Scotia

In a news release Monday afternoon, RCMP said they charged 22-year old Kristen Sack of Hants County with one count of assault in relation to the incident on Oct. 14. A man from Digby County was charged with two counts of assault on Saturday in relation to the same incident. Another man was arrested last month for allegedly assaulting Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack that same day. RCMP spokesperson Andrew Joyce said Monday there were multiple victims during the day’s events and all three people facing charges allegely assaulted different people. >click to read< 17:50

RCMP release persons of interest photos and video in Nova Scotia lobster pound arson investigation

Near midnight on Oct. 16 and into the early morning hours of Oct. 17 the Yarmouth County RCMP and numerous fire departments responded to a fire at the pound. The building, which was unoccupied, was destroyed. “The investigation has determined the fire to be suspicious,” reads an Oct. 30 RCMP media release.,, In an initial media release the RCMP distributed on Oct. 17, the police said a man was is in hospital with life threatening injuries believed related to the fire. He had also been referred to as a person of interest. >video, photos, click to read< 14:59

Nova Scotia lobster pound fire called suspicious – man in hospital with life-threatening injuries  >click to read<

‘Blacklisted:’ Nova Scotia First Nation pulls commercial lobster boats from the water

The chief of the First Nation behind a disputed moderate livelihood lobster fishery in Nova Scotia says recent vandalism and the loss of potential sales have cost the band more than $1.5 million — and he wants those responsible to be held accountable. Mike Sack, chief of the Sipekne’katik First Nation, also alleged the band had been blacklisted by lobster buyers. Sack later told reporters the band has filed an application for a court injunction aimed at preventing people from harassing Indigenous fishers at the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., where the livelihood fleet is based. The First Nation attracted national attention on Sept. 17 when it launched a “moderate livelihood” fishing fleet in St. Marys Bay in southwestern Nova Scotia, almost two months before the federally regulated fishing season was set to open.  >click to read< 08:29

Man charged with arson after vehicle fire outside one lobster pound, man charged with assault at another location

A Yarmouth County man has been charged with arson after a vehicle was torched outside a lobster facility in New Edinburgh, N.S. Meteghan RCMP were called to a disturbance outside the lobster pound Tuesday evening, just one of two locations where several hundred commercial fishermen and their supporters raided facilities where Mi’kmaw fishermen were storing their catches. Michael Burton Nickerson, 31, has been charged with arson causing damage to property. A Digby County man was also charged in the midst of the ongoing dispute over the lobster fishery. Chris Gerald Melanson, 46, has been >charged with assault< after allegedly grabbing and shoving Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack on Wednesday during an altercation at the lobster pound in New Edinburgh. >click to read< 14:38

Nova Scotia lobster pound fire called suspicious – man in hospital with life-threatening injuries

A fire that police are calling suspicious destroyed a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., early Saturday. The blaze broke out at one of two facilities raided and vandalized by commercial fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia earlier this week protesting the “moderate livelihood” fishery launched by Sipekne’katik First Nation last month. Mi’kmaw fishers were storing their catches at the facilities. Tensions have been simmering for weeks in the province’s southwest, sparked by the launch of a moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne’katik band outside the federally mandated commercial season — 21 years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the case of Donald Marshall Jr. >click to read< 18:36

A fire destroyed a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., early Saturday

The blaze follows two raids by commercial fishermen on lobster pounds in southwest Nova Scotia earlier this week protesting the “moderate livelihood” fishery launched by Sipekne’katik First Nation last month. Eel Brook Fire Chief Jonathan LeBlanc told CBC News that fire crews responded to a fire at a “large commercial structure” at 1065 Highway 335 at around midnight. RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Joyce confirmed that police were also at the scene. He said if the fire is deemed suspicious, police will investigate it alongside the fire marshal’s office. >click to read< 09:08

He had hoped to help end Nova Scotia fishery tensions, but now this union leader feels he just has to step down

It’s an ebb tide; in the afternoon sun in the Acadian fishing village of Meteghan, the Salt Shaker hangs low on the wharf. It seems appropriate. Comeau’s resignation has scuttled one of the few potential bright spots in a tumultuous week in southwestern Nova Scotia’s lobster fishery conflict; the hope that talks between him and Sipekne’katik chief, Mike Sack, might be the first steps towards a solution to the battle between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers.“ Now, the planned talks are dead, and the conflict that has torn the fishing community apart has no end in sight. >click to read< 08:18

 N.S. fishermen’s union head quits, says lobster dispute is ‘too much of a toll’ on his family – Joel Comeau says it’s no longer safe for him to be the president of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union Local 9 in Nova Scotia. Comeau stepped down Friday ahead of a planned meeting with Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack to discuss the increasingly tense dispute between commercial and Mi’kmaw lobster fishermen in the province. >click to read< 10:44

Trudeau defends federal response as threats escalate over Mi’kmaw fishery in Nova Scotia

“We are expecting the RCMP and police services to do their jobs and keep people safe,” Trudeau said.  On Thursday, the chief of the Sipekne’katik First Nation urged Trudeau to step in and make sure those involved in the violence are prosecuted. The vice-president of a fishermen’s union in Nova Scotia has stepped down, citing fears for his family’s safety as threats from some non-Indigenous fishermen opposed to a self-regulated Mi’kmaw lobster fishery continue to escalate. Joel Comeau, a former member of the Local 9 of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, was supposed to meet with Sack on Friday morning but abruptly cancelled the meeting. Comeau said he’s received “a lot of flak from my people and a lot of intimidation” over his willingness to work with Sack to find a way forward. “This community is out of hand. This community feels unsafe,” said Comeau. >click to read< 16:00

Mi’kmaw fishing vessel destroyed in suspicious fire at N.S. wharf

A suspicious fire at a southwestern Nova Scotia wharf has destroyed a boat belonging to a Mi’kmaw fisherman, casting doubt on his ability to join the upcoming commercial lobster season. Robert Syliboy woke up to a call from a friend early Monday, asking if he had a boat tied up at the Comeauville wharf in Digby County. When Syliboy replied that he did, the friend told him the vessel might be in flames. Photos soon confirmed the 12-metre boat was indeed Syliboy’s. >click to read< 18:53

Fishermen say they are removing Indigenous lobster traps in western Nova Scotia

Non-Indigenous fishermen say they are in the process of removing lobster traps set by fishermen from the Sipekne’katik First Nation in waters off western Nova Scotia. Colin Sproul, of the Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association, says a large number of boats are in St. Marys Bay and intend to remove the traps and take them to the wharf in Meteghan, N.S. Sproul says the fishermen are taking action on what they believe is an illegal out-of-season fishery because the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has refused to do so. But the Sipekne’katik First Nation says its people have a treaty right to fish at any time. ,, A clarification was issued by the court, which said the treaty right was subject to federal regulation. >click to read< 13:15

RCMP confims identification of the body found on Placentia Bay beach as Fisherman Isaac Kettle

The body recovered from a beach in Placentia Bay over the weekend is that of Isaac Kettle, a crew member of the Sarah Anne, which was lost at sea late last month. The RCMP confirmed the identification late Monday afternoon. Lobster fishermen on Saturday found a body in the area of Doughboy Cove, east of Arnold’s Cove, according to police. Police said at the time they had been in communication with the family of Kettle, who was one of four crew members who did not return to St. Lawrence after heading out to fish crab on the morning of May 25. The bodies of Edward Norman, 67; his son, Scott Norman, 35; and his nephew, Jody Norman, 42, were recovered the following day. >click to read< 16:59

Body found on Placentia Bay beach – RCMP in communication with family of missing fisherman

In a release, police said they were notified that lobster fishermen had found a body in the area of Doughboy Cove, east across the water from Arnold’s Cove. Clarenville RCMP and Forensic Identification Services travelled to the beach and secured the body and had it sent to St. John’s for examination after consulting with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Police said they have been in communication with the family of Isaac Kettle, the lone crew member of the Sarah Anne who has not been found, but there has been no positive identification of the body. >click to read< 20:26