Emergency crews responding to fire-damaged fishing vessel off Nova Scotia – Halifax


The Canadian military says aircraft and ships are responding to an emergency aboard a Canadian fishing vessel that has been damaged by fire off of the coast of Nova Scotia.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax says the FV Atlantic Destiny is a scallop factory ship with 32 people on board and there are no reports of injuries.

The ship has lost power and is adrift about 120 nautical miles south of Yarmouth, N.S., in heavy seas.

Lt.-Cmdr. Brian Owens says a CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter has started removing some of the crew members from the ship.










Nova Scotia ordered to disclose management fees it pays for Yarmouth Ferry


Nova Scotia ordered to disclose management fees it pays for Yarmouth Ferry – Feb 16, 2021

Owens says a small number of the crew will remain on board.

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He says the fire is out but the ship was taking on water.




© 2021 The Canadian Press



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Nova Scotia’s opt-out organ donation registry sees a fraction of expected names


The head of Nova Scotia’s organ donation program is cautiously optimistic the new presumed consent law is being embraced after seeing the latest numbers on the province’s opt-out registry.

Nova Scotia became the first place in North America to switch to an opt-out organ and tissue donation law on Jan. 18. It presumes all adults consent to be donors, unless they say otherwise.

Just 10 days after the law was implemented, the Department of Health and Wellness says 11,800 Nova Scotians have registered to opt out. That’s about one per cent of the province’s population.

“That number may go up a bit over time,” said Dr. Stephen Beed, medical director of the province’s organ and tissue donation program, Legacy of Life.

Prepared for higher opt-out rate

He said they’ve taken many cues from Wales, which changed its donation law in December 2015. Based on the reaction there, Nova Scotia was prepared to see the registry reflect five to seven per cent of the population.

“Maybe the people that choose to opt out just haven’t gotten around to it yet even though they’ve made their decision,” said Beed. “The general impression I’m getting is that this has been very well received.”

The law exempts children, people who lack decision-making capacity, and adults who have lived in the province for less than a year. Families will still have a final say at the bedside.

Beed reiterated the need for people to talk about their final wishes, as well as educating themselves on what organ and tissue donation entails before making a decision. 

“We’ve known all along one of our challenges is to make sure the public are as informed as they can be,” he said.

Reaching out to marginalized communities

His biggest concern is ensuring that historically marginalized communities are well informed. He said the Health Department has been reaching out to leaders in those communities.

“If some of those groups have specific medical concerns, I’d be happy to make sure that we do our best to connect with them and answer specific medical issues,” he said. “That hasn’t happened a lot and it makes me feel like perhaps there’s a need and an opportunity to have these conversations.”

Beed said he was not aware of any organ donations in the last week as a result of the new program.

The department did, however, receive several new referrals for organ transplants under a new internal system. In the past, people who were qualified to donate organs may have been overlooked because health-care workers didn’t know more about the donation system. It is now mandated that they consult Legacy of Life.

“I don’t view this as something we started a week ago, I view this as something that started a year and a half ago,” said Beed. “I’m under no illusions we have a lot more work to do.”

Last year, there were 34 organ donors in Nova Scotia, which was a record number. 

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Hearing for partner of Nova Scotia mass killer put over, no plea entered


The common-law wife of the man responsible for the country’s largest mass shooting did not enter a plea Wednesday during her arraignment on charges of providing him with the ammunition used in last spring’s massacre in northern Nova Scotia.

Instead, during a teleconference hearing, at which Lisa Banfield was not present, lawyer Jessica Zita settled another court date in March to enter a plea, pending further disclosure from the Crown.

Banfield, 52, of Dartmouth, had been charged with unlawfully transferring ammunition between March 17, 2020 and April 18, 2020. James Banfield, 64, of Sackville and Brian Brewster, 60, of Sackville face the same charges.

Lawyers for James Banfield and Brian Brewster also held off entering a plea until the March court date.

Those charges are the only ones to be brought by police since the investigation into the killings began.

Police stated in laying the charges that, based on their investigation, the three accused had no prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions on April 18-19.

The ammunition specifically cited by police was .223-calibre Remington cartridges and .40-calibre Smith & Wesson cartridges. RCMP investigators allege that the ammunition was purchased and trafficked in Nova Scotia.

Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old denturist, terrorized residents of Colchester County last spring when he went on a murderous rampage, beginning with an assault on Banfield in Portapique, N.S., on the night of April 18.

She managed to escape captivity and hid out in the woods surrounding the property until finding police the next morning.

Over the next 13 hours, Wortman killed 22 people in four different communities — including one RCMP officer — shot pets and set homes and cars on fire.

During much of that rampage, he was driving a replica RCMP car and wearing a Mountie uniform.

The killings ended April 19, when police spotted him and killed him at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., almost 100 kilometres from Portapique.

A public inquiry has been launched by the federal and provincial governments. The three commissioners on the inquiry panel are expected to produce an interim report in May 2022, with a final report coming in November of the same year.

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Independent panel to examine pension plan for Nova Scotia teachers – Halifax


An independent three-person panel has been appointed to examine ways of strengthening the pension plan for Nova Scotia’s teachers, which had a massive unfunded liability of $1.5 billion as of 2019.

The province says while there is no immediate risk the plan will be unable to meet its pension obligations, it has a shared obligation with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to address the liability issue.

READ MORE: N.S. teachers’ union says schools ‘in chaos,’ asks government to delay reopening

The teachers’ pension plan is one of the largest public sector plans in the province, with 32,647 members, including 13,705 retirees and survivors, 12,979 active members and 5,963 inactive members as of 2019.

Agreed to in October, the panel is to consult with teachers and other plan members before submitting recommendations to make the plan fully funded by Dec. 31.

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Members include Elizabeth Brown, a Toronto-based pension lawyer at Brown Mills Klinck Prezioso LLP, Gale Rubenstein, a lawyer at Goodmans LLP in Toronto and Conrad Ferguson, an actuary based in Fredericton.










Schools in parts of Canada resume in-person learning


Schools in parts of Canada resume in-person learning

In a news release Wednesday, Labour Relations Minister Mark Furey said both government and the union want to ensure pensions are there for teachers when they retire.

“The plan deficit is a serious and complex issue,” said Furey. “The panel process will allow teachers and other plan members to better understand the challenges and range of solutions and provide their input.”

Union president Paul Wozney said having an arm’s-length group of experts develop a strategy for the short- and long-term health of the plan is the appropriate approach.

READ MORE: N.S. to spend another $14.3 million on school programs, drinking water

“Restoring the plan’s stability in a manner that is manageable for both its members and the province is imperative to the success of this effort,” Wozney said in a union news release.

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The plan is a defined benefit registered pension plan that provides a lifetime pension benefit upon retirement.

Members include active and retired teachers, as well as members of the Public School Administrators Association of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Community College Academic Union.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021.




© 2021 The Canadian Press



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4 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Nova Scotia, 28 active cases remain – Halifax


Nova Scotia reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and said 28 active cases remain in the province.

According to the province, two cases are in the central zone and are close contacts of previously reported cases.

One case is in the eastern zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.

Read more:
Nova Scotia reports 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday

One case is in the northern zone and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

“While the case numbers in our province are encouraging, we are closely monitoring the rise in cases in New Brunswick,” Premier Stephen McNeil said in a press release. “The situation there is a reminder of how quickly the virus can spread, and also reminds us of the importance of following all the public health protocols.”

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The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs said they completed 1,467 Nova Scotia tests on Jan. 6.










Managing COVID-19 in correctional facilities 


Managing COVID-19 in correctional facilities 

Since Oct. 1, 2020, Nova Scotia said it has completed 122,652 coronavirus tests. There have been 435 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths.

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No one is currently in hospital. Four hundred and seven cases are now resolved.

“As we continue to see new COVID-19 cases every day, it is apparent that the virus is still in our communities,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We must remain vigilant and do our part by continuing to follow public health guidelines and orders.”

As of Jan. 4, the province said restaurants and licensed establishments in areas of Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County can reopen for dine-in service.

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Click to play video 'Dentists, pharmacists in Nova Scotia ready to aid with COVID-19 vaccine rollout'







Dentists, pharmacists in Nova Scotia ready to aid with COVID-19 vaccine rollout


Dentists, pharmacists in Nova Scotia ready to aid with COVID-19 vaccine rollout

“They must follow the provincewide restrictions, including ending service by 10 p.m. and closing by 11 p.m. They can continue takeout and delivery service with no restrictions,” the province stated.

The province is also encouraging post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia from outside of Atlantic Canada to visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test for day 6, 7, or 8 of their 14-day self-isolation period.

COVID-19 testing appointments can be booked up to three days in advance.

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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RCMP theory of when Nova Scotia gunman escaped scene of first killings has changed


An unexpected revelation by the RCMP about the early moments of a murderous shooting spree last April in Nova Scotia has prompted fresh criticism from families of the victims and their lawyers.

Although police initially said the gunman fled the scene of the first killings about nine minutes after officers arrived in the rural community of Portapique on the evening of April 18, they’ve now revised this description of events.

Listen for free to the Global News podcast 13 Hours: Inside the Nova Scotia Massacre

The RCMP told Global News in emails that the gunman is now believed to have escaped roughly 19 minutes after the first responding officers arrived at the scene. The emails were sent in response to questions for a 13-part investigative podcast launched by Global News on Nov. 9.

Three families whose relatives were killed in the shootings told Global News police didn’t tell them about the new information. A lawyer representing the families in a proposed class action lawsuit also said she only learned the new details about what happened in Portapique from Global News.

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“This is news, I think, to all of us,” said Jon Farrington, whose parents Dawn and Frank Gulenchyn were killed in Portapique.

“It makes no (sense) how something like this could happen with police presence right around him.”










Son of Nova Scotia shooting victims upset by lack of information from police


Son of Nova Scotia shooting victims upset by lack of information from police

Farrington’s parents were among the 13 people killed in Portapique, where the gunman, Gabriel Wortman, owned a cottage and had spent most of his time during the early weeks of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The gunman would go on to kill nine other people after he escaped Portapique in a 13-hour-long spree, burning multiple homes and vehicles to the ground.

Meanwhile, court documents reveal that a man told the first officers who arrived at the scene in Portapique at 10:26 p.m. on April 18 that a neighbour named “Gabe” had shot him.

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The witness also told police that the gunman was driving what looked like a real police vehicle and that he’d just lit the Gulenchyns’ house on fire.

Another eyewitness who lives near Portapique the night of the shootings told Global News that police did not block off the highway the gunman used to escape the area until after 10:45 that night.

Laurie George said he saw the fires burning from his backyard and went to investigate, driving past the intersection of Highway 2 and Portapique Beach Road. He saw RCMP vehicles, but said he was not stopped by police initially.

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George took photos of fire burning at what appears to be the gunman’s cottage based on its location and proximity to the water. The photos are time-stamped at 10:40 p.m.  — roughly 14 minutes after police first arrived on the scene.

George then drove back to his home, about five minutes away, and picked up his wife, he said. They tried to return to the scene of the fires, but this time police turned them away, near the turn-off to Portapique Beach Road.

Photo of what appears to be gunman Gabriel Wortman’s cottage burning on the evening of Saturday, April 18, 2020.


Photo of what appears to be gunman Gabriel Wortman’s cottage burning on the evening of Saturday, April 18, 2020.


Laurie George

Global News asked the RCMP what time they set up a roadblock on Highway 2. The RCMP did not respond to this question.

The RCMP has previously said they set up a “four square kilometre” perimeter surrounding the area of Portapique where the killings occurred. Police have not said exactly when and where these perimeters were established.

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As Global News previously reported, the RCMP’s only Atlantic-based helicopter was “undergoing routine maintenance” the weekend of the shootings and was therefore unavailable to assist with the manhunt.

Read more:
RCMP helicopter was undergoing ‘routine maintenance’ during N.S. shooting spree

Although the RCMP initially told reporters it requested air support as part of its response to the incident, it didn’t call on two nearby Air Force bases, which have helicopters capable of nighttime search and rescue missions.

The RCMP have told Global News they were eventually able to secure a helicopter owned by the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry to assist with the search.


Click to play video 'Policing expert criticizes RCMP response to N.S. shooting'







Policing expert criticizes RCMP response to N.S. shooting


Policing expert criticizes RCMP response to N.S. shooting – Oct 22, 2020

Victims’ family members have identified this as a key failing of the RCMP’s response to the shootings in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed against the force and the province.

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The families’ lawyers have also criticized the RCMP for not providing timely and meaningful updates.

“I think it has to raise some red flags about the response,” said the families’ lawyer Sandra McCulloch.

“Obviously, having twice as much time to assess the situation and make a response to the situation, it can’t but give rise to concerns about what was done or not done that night.”

Read more:
‘It’s hurtful’: Families of Nova Scotia shooting victims say RCMP keeping them in the dark

Global News asked the RCMP when and why their description of how Wortman escaped Portapique had changed. The RCMP did not answer these questions.

The RCMP also declined a request to be interviewed for this story.

It’s not unusual for police or witnesses to provide conflicting descriptions of events during an ongoing criminal investigation. In this case, it isn’t clear whether police spoke to any witnesses who changed their description of events.

Police should provide more info

Farrington said what’s most upsetting about the new information about when the gunman might have escaped Portapique is that he learned it from the media.

This echoes comments made by other victims’ family members who’ve said they feel like they’re being kept in the dark and that the RCMP isn’t doing enough to keep them informed of the ongoing investigation.

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“If you guys already know and the public already know, why not the families?” Farrington said.


Click to play video '‘It’s hurtful: Victim’s son criticizes RCMP communication about Nova Scotia shooting'







‘It’s hurtful: Victim’s son criticizes RCMP communication about Nova Scotia shooting


‘It’s hurtful: Victim’s son criticizes RCMP communication about Nova Scotia shooting – Aug 27, 2020

Farrington said he knows the job police are tasked with is a difficult one, but he expected police would have done more to communicate with families about important developments in the investigation.

“A simple phone call, like, ‘Guys, how’s it going? No news.’ It’s better than being silent,” he said. “It makes us feel like, you know, you’re not working on the case at all.”

Darryl Davies, a criminology instructor at Carleton University, said it’s unlikely there’s anything the RCMP could have done to save the 13 people who were murdered in Portapique the night the shooting spree began.

“Because of the few officers there (in Portapique), I don’t think they had a snowball’s chance in hell of doing anything to save lives,” Davies said. “I think they were lucky they saved their own given the way this played out.”

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Still, he said, he is concerned about other aspects of the police response, including the RCMP’s decision not to use the province’s emergency alert system to warn the public about the danger.

“The RCMP have failed in the last decade to bring about the kinds of changes that we need in Canada for this national police service to respond to these kinds of crises,” Davies said.


Click to play video 'Could an RCMP cousin have done anything about the Nova Scotia gunman’s alleged crime, violence?'







Could an RCMP cousin have done anything about the Nova Scotia gunman’s alleged crime, violence?


Could an RCMP cousin have done anything about the Nova Scotia gunman’s alleged crime, violence? – Oct 9, 2020

During a June 4 press conference, RCMP Chief Supt. Chris Leather said investigators would provide “timely and accurate updates in the coming days and weeks.”

That was the last press conference the RCMP held to discuss the Nova Scotia shooting and the last time investigators faced questions from the media in a public setting.

In July, the federal government and Nova Scotia announced a public inquiry into the shootings and the RCMP’s response to the tragedy, reversing an earlier decision.

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Read more:
How a real uniform and replica police car helped the Nova Scotia gunman go undetected

The inquiry will look into a wide range of issues related to the killing spree, including the RCMP’s immediate response, the force’s decision not to use the emergency alert system to warn the public, and the way officers have communicated with victims’ families.

The inquiry must deliver an interim report by May 1, 2022, followed by a final report that is due six months later. The reports will first be delivered to the federal and Nova Scotia governments, which will then decide when to release them.

The RCMP have also said they assigned a family liaison officer to work with the victims’ families and to keep them updated with developments of the ongoing investigation.

This officer was assigned as part of the RCMP’s critical incident response immediately after the shooting spree. The RCMP said the family liaison provides information to victims’ families before giving it to the media.




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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Cinema Nova Bar & Kitchen Re-Opens


Food, Lifestyle

For the first time since July, Melbourne’s iconic Cinema Nova is welcoming patrons back to Carlton to serve delicious chef-prepared dishes in the Nova Bar & Kitchen.

As Victoria eases restrictions including many indoor venues, sadly cinemas will remain closed with no opening date yet provided by the Victorian government. With indoor dining permitted for up to twenty patrons, Cinema Nova is using this opportunity to open our Bar & Kitchen and Candy Bar nightly from 5.00pm. This will allow the Nova community to enjoy fine food and wine in the company of fellow Melbournians as well as the chance to stock up on their favourite movie snacks for home movie nights until Nova is able to welcome them back to the big screen.


Prepared by in-house chefs, Nova Bar & Kitchen will be serving from a menu featuring Spiced Calamari, deconstructed Eggplant Parmigiana, Cauliflower Arancini, Slow Cooked Braised Beef and much more. Classic cocktails will be poured along with fine wines and our exceptional offering of boutique beers – many brewed locally. Nova‘s Candy Bar will be also be open, offering our famous house-made choctops, popcorn, drinks and snacks, as well as gift cards and our custom tote bags.
 
Cinema Nova will be operating the Bar & Kitchen and Candy Bar with a fully comprehensive and strict government COVID-19 safe plan. This includes online bookings, socially-distanced seating, capacity limitations, constant cleaning, contact-tracing, cashless payments, staff temperature checks, masked staff and hand sanitiser available. Cinema Nova‘s CEO Kristian Connelly says “Cinema Nova audiences are understandably disappointed they cannot return to the movies just yet. Opening the Kitchen and Candy Bar not only allows our customers to once again come together in Carlton, it means our staff can return to work and finesse and improve our COVID-safe practices. We know that cinemas will reopen again soon, but until then Melbourne can enjoy great food and wine as well as the delightful spring weather from our balcony overlooking Lygon Street.”
 
Nova Bar & Kitchen and Candy Bar 
Open from Friday October 30, seven days a week, from 5.00pm. 
Reservations recommended for dining, online bookings available via 
http://www.cinemanova.com.au



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Nova Scotia calls on Ottawa to define ‘moderate livelihood’ fishery


HALIFAX – Calls for Ottawa to define a “moderate livelihood” fishery mounted on Sunday, as hundreds gathered in support of Indigenous lobster fishers after a heated dispute over treaty rights boiled over.

Following fierce clashes outside fish plants in southwestern Nova Scotia last week, a lobster pound that stored the catch of Mi’kmaq fishers was burned to the ground early Saturday.

The attacks prompted widespread condemnation, with the NDP’s fisheries critic calling for an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Monday.

The escalating violence also prompted a show of solidarity in Halifax on Sunday, where hundreds of people gathered at Grand Parade Square to show support for Mi’kmaq fishers.

In front of a large sign that read “Respect the treaties, protect the sacred,” multiple speakers addressed the crowd and spoke out about the violence directed at Indigenous fishers. Protesters held placards carrying slogans such as “We are all treaty people.”

Eleanor Michael of Sipekne’katik First Nation said she is frightened by the attacks against her community.

“I’m full of fear,” she said in an interview after addressing the large crowd in front of Halifax City Hall. “I’m terrified.”

Michael added: “I think the moderate livelihood fishermen should be able to do what our treaty said.”

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil took to social media to urge Ottawa to define what constitutes legal harvesting in a “moderate livelihood” fishery.

McNeil tweeted that 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.

He said Nova Scotia’s regulations rely on the federal department’s “authority and responsibility to manage the fishery and identify what are legal, licensed fisheries.”

McNeil added that the province is working with Ottawa to find a facilitator to “bring the sides together.”

“The way to resolve the issue is through respectful dialogue,” he said. “I‘m deeply concerned about the acts of intimidation and violence.”

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.

A man considered a person of interest in the lobster pound fire remains in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is “appalled by the acts of violence, intimidation, and destruction taking place in Nova Scotia.”

“The perpetrators will be held accountable,” he said Saturday on Twitter, noting that Ottawa has approved the request to provide more policing support. “We’re focused on keeping people safe.”

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In response to the recent violence, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair approved a request by Nova Scotia’s Attorney General to step up the RCMP presence in the region.

Chief Mike Sack of the Sipekne’katik First Nation said he is grateful for the added policing and law enforcement resources.

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.

Still, Sack said he appreciates the efforts of local RCMP and is pleased they’ll get the back up needed during an “extremely overwhelming time for all of us.”

The Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark decision in 1999 that said the Mi’qmaq and Maliseet people of Atlantic Canada and the Gaspe region of Quebec have a right to earn a “moderate livelihood” from fishing.

The ruling upheld the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1752, which promised Indigenous Peoples the right to hunt and fish their lands and establish trade.

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

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

Yet others have argued that commercial fishing seasons are based on the economy and trade, and the scale of the small Indigenous fishery doesn’t impact conservation.

The dispute has become so heated that the head of a Maritime Fishermen’s Union local resigned, citing harassment and intimidation against him and his family.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2020.





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Blair approves request to boost RCMP presence as Nova Scotia lobster fishery dispute escalates


Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has greenlighted a request for additional RCMP support in Nova Scotia amid criticism that Ottawa has not done enough to protect community members embroiled in a bitter conflict over a First Nations lobster harvest in that province. 

“Policing in Nova Scotia is within provincial jurisdiction,” Blair said in a statement released Saturday. “I have now approved a request from Nova Scotia’s Attorney General to enhance the presence of contracted RCMP resources as needed in that jurisdiction in order to keep the peace.”

The minister added that Nova Scotia RCMP had “increased their police presence in the affected area each day.”

His office told CBC News the request was approved on Friday and that the number of officers sent to the region will be determined by the province and its RCMP.

RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Joyce would not provide specific numbers to CBC News, but said officers from local detachments, members from across Nova Scotia and officers with special training from Prince Edward Island were on the scene.

The announcement comes after a fire levelled a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., Saturday morning. 

Nova Scotia RCMP have deemed the blaze suspicious and said a man is in hospital with life-threatening injuries. Joyce said the injured individual is an “adult male who is considered a person of interest.” 

The scene Saturday morning after a lobster pound burned to the ground in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., overnight, severely injuring one man. The RCMP are investigating the matter. (Taryn Grant/CBC)

The fire broke out at one of two facilities in the province’s southwest region that were targeted by commercial fishermen on Tuesday protesting the “moderate livelihood” fishery launched by Sipekne’katik First Nation last month

The fishery is operating outside the federally mandated commercial season, causing many commercial lobster fishermen to worry about its impact on lobster conservation. 

The Mi’kmaw, who were storing their catches at the facilities, say they are exercising their treaty right to earn a moderate livelihood from fishing, a right affirmed by a 1999 Supreme Court ruling. 

WATCH | Violence over lobster fisheries a disgrace: Indigenous services minister:

Indigenous services minister Marc Miller says urgent response is needed with Mi’kmaw fishermen under attack. 8:29

“When Canadians see events like these, rightfully they act with disgust and they expect those in positions of authority to act, and that is what Minister Blair has done,” Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller told CBC News. 

Miller reiterated that nation-to-nation talks are ongoing behind closed doors and said federal conversations with the commercial fishing industry will also need to happen.

Sipekne’katik chief: ‘Maybe it’s time for the military’

Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack said in a statement late Saturday that he is “grateful” in response to Blair’s announcement. 

“While I believe some of the damage, destruction, racist behaviour, harassment and intimidation could have been addressed much earlier as we had repeatedly requested a greater police presence to protect our people and operations, we remain thankful for any and all support we receive.”

Earlier on Saturday, Sack had called on Ottawa to beef up the number of officers in the area.

WATCH | Chief Mike Sack ‘at a loss’ after fire destroys N.S. lobster facility:

Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack says commercial fishermen are being ‘badly influenced’ amid ongoing lobster harvest dispute. 3:18

“We’re not told numbers in general, but very understaffed. Like, 300 commercial fishermen on the wharf, 40 or 50 of us [and] 12 officers,” Sack said during a news conference Saturday. “Maybe it’s time for the military to come in and assist.”

Sack has been increasingly critical of the federal government’s failure to intervene in the conflict.

“You know, they’re sitting in their office, safe as can be, saying we need safety out here. Send enforcement down. Like, do your job. Protect Canadians. We’re all Canadians. Come here, protect us and don’t just tweet about it,” he said Thursday. 

In a tweet, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde said his office had contacted the RCMP and the federal government “to express First Nations’ deep concern” in the wake of the blaze.

Investigations into week’s incidents ongoing

The RCMP’s response to the week’s events — which included an assault on Chief Sack on Wednesday — initially came under fire for failing to arrest those responsible for the violence.

“We are expecting the RCMP and police services to do their jobs and keep people safe,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

“I think there’s been some concern that that hasn’t been done well enough and that’s certainly something we will be looking at very closely.”

On Saturday, a Digby County, N.S., man was charged and arrested in relation to the assault.  

Investigations continue into Tuesday’s lobster pound raids, which left vehicles vandalized and facilities damaged.

Joyce defended the force’s efforts to keep the peace rather than carry out arrests, telling CBC News Saturday that officers simply “did what they were trained to do in a position of being severely outnumbered.”

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





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Halloween Comes Early as ‘Michael Myers’ Checks Out Storm Teddy in Nova Scotia


Even Michael Myers needed his Tim Hortons coffee as Nova Scotia prepared for Storm Teddy to make landfall with strong winds and heavy rain on Wednesday, September 23. The northeastern coastline of the United States experienced strong surf as the storm, while still a Category 2 hurricane, passed on Tuesday. This footage shows a familiar Michael Myers lookalike assessing the churning tide off Cow Bay in Halifax as Nova Scotia braced for Teddy’s impact. Residents in Nova Scotia reported widespread outages as the storm continued northward, with winds forecast to double in strength. Credit: @craiglayton07 via Storyful



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