NS supreme court says environment minister “committed palpable and overriding error” around Alton Gas – The Coast Halifax

Project now requires 120 more days of consultation with Sipekne’katik First Nation
Apr 7, 2020

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia overturned the environment minister’s approval of the Alton Gas project, citing inadequate consultation with Sipekne’katik First Nation. Alton Gas must now resume consultations for 120 days, or until both parties are satisfied. Given the present circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, no start date has been set for these consultations.

The Alton Gas project proposes to store natural gas in salt caverns near Stewiacke, Nova Scotia, and, as part of this process, would dump salt brine into the Shubenacadie River. The legal challenges and grassroots resistance to the project have been ongoing for six years.

In the statement regarding his decision, the justice Frank C. Edwards said that “While there had been extensive consultations regarding the potential environmental impacts of the Project, the core issue of Aboriginal title and treaty rights was never specifically engaged. The Minister therefore committed palpable and overriding error when she concluded that the level of consultation was appropriate.”

Read More: https://www.thecoast.ca/COVID19Needtoknow/archives/2020/04/07/ns-supreme-court-says-environment-minister-committed-palpable-and-overriding-error-around-alton-gas

Nunatsiavut Government: Don’t take any risks during Easter, says President

Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe is appealing to Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement to ensure they continue practicing social distancing and to refrain from any gatherings during the Easter season to order to help prevent potential exposure and spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

“The Easter week is a special time for all of us – a time when we normally gather with family and friends, when we help our neighbors, when we go off on the land or go to our cabins,” notes President Lampe. “As we prepare for Easter, I encourage all residents of Nunatsiavut to find alternate and creative ways to celebrate, gather and worship. Right now there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our communities, but that should not be a reason to be complacent. Things are changing very quickly, and we all must assume the virus is already in our communities. We all have to do our part to protect ourselves, our families and each other.”

The President is asking that there be no travel to and between any Labrador Inuit community during the Easter break unless it is vitally essential. As well, those going off on the land or to their cabins should only do so with people whom they live with, he says, and there should be no social gatherings or events whatsoever.

“We are asking all families and friends to celebrate Easter with the loved ones they live with all the time and to avoid travelling to see other family members or friends or gathering in large groups. We cannot afford to take any risks.”

Media Contact:

Bert Pomeroy

Director of Communications

(709) 896-8582


Celebrating the life of Saint John elder Sheila Croteau, who died in weekend house fire – CBC

A Sixties Scoop survivor, Croteau was a passionate advocate for Indigenous culture

Apr 06, 2020

The life of Sheila Croteau, who died in a house fire early Sunday morning, will be celebrated by all who knew and loved her in Saint John when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and large gatherings are allowed.

“I think it will be like a state funeral,” said Jennifer Mitton.

A close friend to the family, Mitton has temporarily taken charge of Croteau’s personal Facebook page to manage the many messages, questions and condolences being posted there.

“So many people will want to pay their respects. I’ve received about 300 messages already,” she said.

Mitton’s four-year-old son, who is Miꞌkmaq through his father, had Croteau as a godmother and Mitton grieves for the future mentorship that her son has lost.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/sheila-croteau-saint-john-fatal-house-fire-1.5524156

Nunatsiavut Government: Funding announced for food banks, community freezers

April 6, 2020

The Nunatsiavut Government is providing a total of $54,500 to assist food banks and community freezers to assist with addressing ongoing needs during the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding is coming from the Government of Canada’s $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs related to COVID-19. The fund is divided between Indigenous governments and organizations across the country. The Nunatsiavut Government’s share of that fund is $5.3 million.

“The Nunatsiavut Government announced March 6 a number of initiatives to assist Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement during these uncertain and difficult times,” notes Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology Minister Tony Andersen. “Addressing food security is one of the key initiatives outlined in the fund.”

Breakdown of the funding provided to food banks and community freezer programs:

TaKuaKautik – Nain Food Bank $ 22,000
Hopedale Inuit Community Government $ 11,500
Makkovik Pantry/Woodbox Committee $ 7,000
Postville Food Bank Committee $ 3,500
Rigolet Inuit Community Government $ 6,000
NunaKatiget Inuit Community Corporation (Happy Valley-Goose Bay/Mud Lake) $ 3,500
Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation (North West River) $ 1,000

Media Contact:

Bert Pomeroy

Director of Communications




Indigenous leaders asking that access to Labrador be sealed off – APTN

April 5, 2020

The elected leaders of the Innu of Labrador are requesting the closure of commercial airports, the ferry services, and travel from Quebec along the Trans-Labrador Highway into Labrador.

The Combined Councils of Labrador is also asking to stop non-essential travel between Labrador and Newfoundland.

The Indigenous nations believe limiting travel to essential services is one last step to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In a letter to Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Innu Nation says closing off Labrador is vital.

“The measures we are able to take as First Nation leaders to try and to protect our very vulnerable communities from Civic-19 are limited,” said Grand Chief Gregory Rich. “We have no way to limit travel into airports (other than the one in Natuashish), or into the province along the highway or on the ferries.”

Read More: https://aptnnews.ca/2020/04/05/indigenous-leaders-asking-that-access-to-labrador-be-sealed-off/

‘We are not prepared’: Inuit brace for coronavirus to reach remote communities – The Globe and Mail

April 5, 2020

Canada’s Inuit leaders are nervously watching the coronavirus creep closer and closer, and hoping they can keep it from reaching their communities, where chronic overcrowding and a lack of medical resources make their people especially vulnerable to an outbreak.

Nunatsiavut, the Inuit self-governing region in northern Labrador, is one of the few places left in Canada without a confirmed case of COVID-19. People there are deeply concerned they would be ill-equipped to handle the virus if it arrives, and are worried it’s only a matter a time before they see their first case.

Chronic housing shortages have inflamed recent outbreaks of tuberculosis in the region, and throughout Canada’s North, and makes Labrador’s Inuit population more at risk to the COVID-19 virus because of TB’s lasting impact on the respiratory and immune systems.

“We are not prepared” is the blunt assessment of Johannes Lampe, president of Nunatsiavut, which includes the coastal communities of Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville, Rigolet and Nain.

Read More: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-we-are-not-prepared-inuit-brace-for-coronavirus-to-reach-remote/

Labrador Indigenous groups plan how to use federal COVID-19 relief – CBC

$305 million will be shared across Canada

Apr 05, 2020

Indigenous communities in Labrador are already planning on what to do with recently allocated federal funds for COVID-19 relief.

Ottawa has earmarked $305 million to be shared among First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities around Canada.

The money will be split up into four different sections:

  • $215 million will be given to each First Nation community and will be distributed based on population, remoteness, and community well-being;
  • $45 million will be given to the four different Inuit organizations, the funds will be distributed by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and regional Inuit land claims organizations;
  • $30 million for Métis Nation communities;
  • $15 million for regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members who are living away from their respective communities.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/labrador-indigenous-governments-planning-to-use-money-for-relief-1.5521023

Chief Prosper’s Update on Pandemic Planning

April 3, 2020

Dear community member,

I want to thank each and every one of you for joining us in the fight against this terrible COVID-19 virus. As the numbers climb daily, I join our Grand Chief Norman Sylliboy, the Assembly of Nova Chiefs, Premier Stephen McNeil and others in urging you to stay at home, limit outside travel, avoid large gatherings, maintain a six-foot distance from others, wash your hands frequently and sanitize your surroundings. It is critical, especially to the health of our elders and other vulnerable community members. We are following the lead of health experts around the world. I want to share some of the important work being done on your behalf.

Thank you,
Chief Paul (PJ) Prosper
April 3, 2020

The health centre is currently closed to the public. All messages are checked regularly throughout the day. If immediate assistance is needed, please contact Juliana Julian at 902-338-0678. You can use the health center if you need a phone to make an appointment or to have your doctor appointment over the phone. To book a room, please message the Paqtnkek health center on its Facebook page or contact Juliana Julian at 902-338-0678.

We have arranged for a driver who will be available to pick up prescriptions and drop them off at your door. We are currently exploring other options to help you get to and from appointments. Health Canada has provided guidelines for transporting patients to and from appointments during this pandemic.

The health centre is ordering supplies to create oral health packages for each household.

Health Canada has allowed pharmacists to fill open prescriptions such as Tylenol and Advil for adults or children. Please can contact the drug store directly with your request and our medical driver can pick up the prescription and deliver it to you.

Our community health promotion and prevention worker Kathleen Denny will be working hard to develop some fun and family orientated activities for community members. She will also be starting a separate Facebook page which will offer incentives for participants.

We have coverage for all community members and staff to seek out mental health clinical support. Contact any of the following clinicians and let them know that you’re a Paqtnkek community member or staff member and they can set up an appointment by phone, text or video chat with you. (adults) Tiana Fusco 902-754-4632 or Tammy Kontuk 902-759-4410, (youth) Doreen Shadbolt doreen.shadbolt@eastlink.ca. (parent support/youth) Wendy Digout 902-863-3002 or WDPsych@gmail.com.

24/7 telephone crisis intervention is available for Paqtnkek children, youth and adults. Call (902) 429-8167 or toll-free 1-888-429-8167. Our two community clinicians Michelle Lebrun and Emily Larson-Ure are continuing to see clients by phone and online video conferencing. For addiction support, call Mike Taylor at 902-870-4922 or message him on Facebook.

At this time, we are providing very limited home care services to our clients who either live alone or have very limited access to family members who can help them. Health Canada has provided guidelines for our workers to follow while delivering home care services. Home care clients must help keep our staff safe by practicing social isolation and discontinue unnecessary trips into Antigonish.

We are making bulk purchases of non-perishable foods and basic supplies in case we need to deliver emergency supplies to families.

We have ordered 50 sets of bedding and other supplies in the event that we need to use the gym or other location as a comfort centre if St. Martha’s Hospital reaches full capacity.

Chief and council issued a directive for all independent sellers to close, effective March 29th. This is to reduce the flow of outside traffic into our community. Signs will be put up with this notice.

Gas Bar is an essential service. Hours of Operation effective April 2, 2020 will be from 8 am to 8 pm. Although it is full-service during this pandemic, customers must still go inside to pay for their gas.

Due to the significant loss of revenue in our Band businesses, layoff notices have been issued to some staff in the entertainment centre, tobacco store, daycare, health centre and band administration.

We have met with fisheries staff to discuss delayed openings for the oyster harvesting and lobster fishery. Discussions are ongoing with DFO and impacted communities on the overall fishery industry and more updates to come.

All cheques, including rations, are delivered from the gym. We limit the number of clients inside at any one time and follow all health protocols, including physical distancing. E-transfers are being looked at for those clients who request it. They will need to supply proper banking information and sign waivers to give their approval.

If conditions permit later this month, we might be able to offer diesel card lock services to truckers and limited convenience store operations. Current safety protocols mean we will need to postpone an official public opening ceremony. A business continuity plan, hiring and training plan and cash flow forecasts are also taking place.

To limit personal contact with visitors, we have distributed signs in Mi’kmaq/English to be displayed at homes of some of our more vulnerable members. Please read and respect their requests. To order a sign please contact the health center and leave a message or call Juliana Julian 902-338-0678 or Emily Peter-Paul 902-867-7003.

All provincial court proceedings are done over the phone. If you need a phone to take part in a proceeding, please contact the health centre and leave a message by phone or inbox message or contact a member of council and we can arrange for you to get a phone.

The due date for filing individual income tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020. Most taxation services are asking clients to mail in their forms, and they will contact you once they are completed.

Health Canada has provided our frontline health workers with gloves, gowns and masks to use while delivering services to community members.

Our local suppliers are working on getting individual hand sanitizers for each household.

All repairs/renovations that require workers inside homes are put on hold until after Covid-19.

We are meeting daily with Paqtnkek emergency committees, other Chiefs and other levels of government to stay on top of developments. We are closely monitoring the extra expenditures made to help us manage this crisis and will seek appropriate compensation from other levels of government.

Along with Health Director Juliana Julian, we are using video and community radio to provide regular updates on our pandemic planning. If you have a question you would like addressed during our live broadcasts, please email rezfm@paqtnkek.ca or send to me or any councilor.

*I encourage you to visit our website at www.paqtnkek.ca for a list of current announcements, resources and important notices. Also, please follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts for up-to-the-minute announcements.


How to access free mental health and emotional support during the COVID-19 crisis – CBC

Whether you’re experiencing anxiety, addiction or abuse, confidential help is a call, text or click away

Apr 02, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic changes everyday life in dramatic ways, it’s also shaking the foundation of our psychological and emotional well-being. “Our basic premise for mental health is feeling safe and secure,” explains psychiatrist Dr. Sabeena Chopra, who works with Stella’s Place, a charitable organization providing support to young people in Toronto. “Now, we’re facing such uncertainty — about our physical health, the health of our loved ones, our jobs, our housing.”

Making matters worse, the COVID-19 crisis is also hindering what Dr. Chopra calls one of the most protective factors we have: social connection. “For some people, there is sometimes a great degree of social isolation even at baseline,” she says, “but now we’re all experiencing it, in a way we never have before.”

If you feel alone, overwhelmed or in crisis, there’s always someone you can call (or text) for help. Here are just some of the free, confidential resources available in Canada, depending on your needs.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/how-to-access-free-mental-health-and-emotional-support-during-the-covid-19-crisis-1.5519397

Emera Approves Quarterly Dividends

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia– On April 3, 2020 the Board of Directors of Emera Inc. (TSX: EMA) approved quarterly dividends on its common shares and First Preferred Shares, each of which is payable on and after May 15, 2020 to the applicable shareholders of record at the close of business on May 1, 2020, as follows:

  1. $0.6125 per common share;
  2. $0.1597 per Series A First Preferred Share;
  3. $0.2150 per Series B First Preferred Share;
  4. $0.29506 per Series C First Preferred Share;
  5. $0.28125 per Series E First Preferred Share;
  6. $0.26263 per Series F First Preferred Share; and
  7. $0.30625 per Series H First Preferred Share.

Emera Inc. hereby notifies the shareholders of its common shares and its First Preferred Shares that such dividends declared qualify as eligible dividends pursuant to the Income Tax Act (Canada) and corresponding provincial legislation.

About Emera

Emera Inc. is a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with approximately $32 billion in assets and 2019 revenues of more than $6.1 billion. The company primarily invests in regulated electricity generation and electricity and gas transmission and distribution with a strategic focus on transformation from high carbon to low carbon energy sources. Emera has investments throughout North America, and in four Caribbean countries. Emera’s common and preferred shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade respectively under the symbol EMA, EMA.PR.A, EMA.PR.B, EMA.PR.C, EMA.PR.E, EMA.PR.F and EMA.PR.H. Depositary receipts representing common shares of Emera are listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange under the symbol EMABDR and on The Bahamas International Securities Exchange under the symbol EMAB. Additional Information can be accessed at www.emera.com or at www.sedar.com.

Emera Inc.
Investor Relations:
Ken McOnie, 902-428-6945
Scott Hastings, 902-474-4787


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