Premier McNeil issues statement on Southwest N.S. fishery

Premier Stephen McNeil. (Communications N.S. Photo)

HALIFAX: The following is a statement from Premier Stephen McNeil.

“The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the Peace and Friendship Treaties provide the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq the right to harvest and sell fish, wildlife, and wild fruit and berries to provide a moderate livelihood.

The province recognizes and supports the legal, constitutional Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Mi’kmaq, and while many of the details surrounding the nature and extent of those rights are not clear, clarification is best addressed through open and respectful dialogue.

Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq are working as a Nation to determine what is required to implement those treaty rights, what it means, what it looks like and what rules should be put in place.

It’s good that the federal fisheries minister continues to speak with interested parties regarding this latest fishing dispute in southwest Nova Scotia. It is essential to find a path forward and that can only happen if all sides come together in a respectful and constructive way.

Discussions continue within communities and with the province on topics such as wildlife and forestry through the Made in Nova Scotia negotiation process.

Meanwhile, the province of Nova Scotia and the Mi’kmaq have entered into a number of interim collaborative management agreements, including moose population management and a forestry initiative.

Our objective is to have a safe and enjoyable moose hunt for Mi’kmaq and licensed hunters.

Any potential disruption of the legal moose hunt will be jointly addressed. While we respect the right for peaceful protests, it is illegal to interfere with a lawful hunt.”

  • Premier Stephen McNeil