RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki addressed the RCMP’s response to the ongoing fisheries dispute in Nova Scotia on Wednesday, saying they are “fully committed to keeping the peace, keeping people safe, and enforcing the law.”
Lucki also “strongly” encouraged calm and the “engagement in peaceful and constructive dialogue.”
RCMP have been heavily criticized for their officers appearing to stand by during confrontations between non-Indigenous fishers and the Mi’kmaw fishers, or only intervening when physical violence appeared imminent.
Lucki responded to a question regarding concerns about how officers have responded, saying they are “deeply concerned by the acts of violence and the property damage” linked to the dispute, and that they will intervene “when we are made aware of those actions.”
Nova Scotia’s Indigenous communities have faced violent and heated opposition from mostly non-Indigenous commercial fishers since the Sip’knekatik First Nation launched its self-regulated moderate livelihood fishery in September.
Traps laid by Indigenous fishers have been repeatedly cut or damaged. The incidents culminated on Oct. 13, with mobs of as many 200 people swarming two lobster pounds in southwestern Nova Scotia.
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