Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs say Ottawa’s new fisheries plan unacceptable

Toronto Star

Mi’kmaq chiefs in Nova Scotia say Ottawa’s new plan to address a conflict between Indigenous and commercial fishers is an attempt by government to control fishing rights that aren’t in its mandate.

The Mi’kmaq treaty right to fish shouldn’t be defined by industry or the federal government, Chief Gerald Toney of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs told a virtual news conference Thursday.

He said the plan released Wednesday by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan is unacceptable. “Minister Jordan once again made clear that she sees the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada having full control over rights-based fisheries,” Toney said.

He was reacting to a plan by Ottawa that would allow moderate livelihood fishing activity during the commercial season through licences issued under the Fisheries Act, though the total amount of fishing in the country’s waters wouldn’t increase.

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