Violence and Arson over Fishery is a Failure of Government

Violence and Arson over Fishery is a Failure of Government


Wednesday, October 14, 2020


“The violence and intimidation in Southwest Nova Scotia must be stopped and denounced by all. This continuing anarchy represents a failure by two levels of government to protect law and order”

– Thomas Trappenberg, leader of the Green Party of Nova Scotia


The heinous acts of intimidation, violence and property damage by some commercial fishers against indigenous people in the ongoing dispute over the livable fisheries must be met with the full force of the law.

The Green Party of Nova Scotia denounces the violence in Pubnico yesterday that saw a mob destroy a building, set fire to a vehicle and that endangered a man’s safety. We demand that the criminals responsible be identified, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that the RCMP explain why no arrests were made despite being present during the incident they characterized as “mischief”.

This latest act of mob rule surrounding the livable fishery dispute represents a failure by two levels of government, and stains the reputation of many commercial fishermen who continue to respect law and order. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) under minister Bernadette Jordan has completely failed to make clear under what specific conditions the Mi’kmaq Nation can apply its Treaty Rights to a Livable Fishery, which some cite as the cause of the dispute.

More disturbing is the provincial government’s failure in its primary duty to protect the safety of all citizens living in Nova Scotia from threats of fear, violence and maintain law and order. No one in Canada has the right to take the law into their own hands under any circumstances. Disputes, both criminal and civil, can only be resolved through authorized law enforcement officers and the courts.

That tensions continue to be high in this multilateral dispute was entirely predictable. That no serious action was taken since the last dangerous criminal behaviour made against indigenous fishers is unacceptable and inexcusable.

Law and Order Must be Restored

The governments of Nova Scotia and Canada cannot continue to tolerate these acts of terror. By not denouncing and prosecuting those responsible, the provincial government, DFO and RCMP are enabling these criminals to continue to flaunt law and order, and endanger lives and property.

The Green Party of Nova Scotia is asking for all citizens, and all levels of government, to denounce these violent, criminal acts and demand justice for those harmed.


Green Party of Nova Scotia principles:

++ Sustainability

Move all open-net pen finfish aquaculture facilities into closed containment systems on land. As with land farmers transitioning from conventional production, ensuring necessary financial and extension support to fish farm workers to make this transition.

++ Local Self-Reliance

Communities must be in charge of their own destinies and resources as much as possible. Economic development cannot be directed solely by central authorities for the unique benefit of elites.

++ Non Violence

We declare our commitment to nonviolence, and to strive for a culture of peace and cooperation between nations, inside societies and between individuals. We believe that security should not rest mainly on physical strength but on cooperation, equal justice, sound economic and social development, environmental safety, and respect for human rights.

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