SAULNIERVILLE, N.S. – R-C-M-P say they are investigating two fires that appear to have been deliberately set as tensions flare in the lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia.
There have been tensions in the area recently over the Indigenous ceremonial and food fisheries, and last month two non-Aboriginal men were charged with threatening Indigenous fishermen online.
Premier Stephen McNeil says it’s not known whether the fires are connected to brewing problems in the fishery.
McNeil says the province has capacity for both the native and commercial fisheries, “but it means that everyone has to have an open conversation.”
Asked if he is concerned tensions could boil over into violence, McNeil replied: “I haven’t seen that.”
Non-Indigenous fishermen have staged several protests outside fisheries offices in Digby, Tusket and Meteghan in recent weeks over claims that Aboriginal fishermen are taking unfair advantage of their right to continue fishing outside of the regular commercial season.