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One new case of COVID-19 / state of emergency mandatory order revised

25 September 2020

FREDERICTON (GNB) – Public Health reported one new case of COVID-19 today.

The new case is an individual between 30 and 39 in Zone 6 (Bathurst region), related to travel from outside the Atlantic bubble and who is self-isolating.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 200 and 191 have recovered. There have been two deaths, and the number of active cases is seven. As of today, 72,981 tests have been conducted.

The state of emergency mandatory order was revised today to limit day trips from Avignon Regional County Municipality to only residents of the Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix near Campbellton.

Media Contact(s)

Bruce Macfarlane, communications, Department of Health, 506-444-4583, [email protected]


Avignon bubble to shrink to Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix, Quebec

24 September 2020

FREDERICTON (GNB) – A rise in COVID-19 cases in Avignon Municipal Regional County in Quebec has prompted the provincial government to limit day trips from that region to only residents of the Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix near Campbellton. The new rule goes into effect at noon on Friday, Sept. 25.

Travel for non-essential purposes from elsewhere in Avignon is no longer permitted. Travel for work, medical care or child care/custody continues to be permitted.

“The recent rise of confirmed cases and a change in the alert status in the Avignon Municipal Regional County has prompted this action,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “There are currently no confirmed cases in Listuguj First Nation or Pointe-à-la-Croix. We have worked with the leadership in both of those communities and they are taking precautions on their side. They will be taking steps to work with New Brunswick so that their residents limit their travel to their own communities and to the Campbellton region as much as possible so that we can continue to keep this area open.”

People entering from Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix for day trips must continue to:

  • pre-register through;
  • prove residency in an Atlantic Province, Listuguj First Nation or Pointe-à-la Croix, Que.;
  • attest that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • attest they have not travelled outside their communities, except into an Atlantic province, over the previous 14 days.

More information on travel registration and required documentation is available on the province’s Travel Information page.

All previously approved registrations to and from Avignon Municipal Regional County for non-essential single trips and multi-day registrations are no longer valid as of noon on Friday, Sept. 25. This includes Listuguj First Nation or Pointe-à-la Croix, except for multi-day registrations approved for the transportation of elementary and secondary students and those issued for work, medical care and childcare/child custody.

Unless exempt, individuals who travel to or from other communities of Avignon, and are eligible to enter New Brunswick, are once again required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

Travellers entering New Brunswick at Campbellton may experience delays due to health and registration screening.

“Cabinet and the COVID-19 all-party cabinet committee made the decision after reviewing public health advice, epidemiology reports, rising cases and changes in the alert levels,” Higgs said.

Twinning with communities in Témiscouata Municipal Regional County in Quebec, near Edmundston, was suspended Sept. 17 and all registrations issued for non-essential single trips and multi-day registrations to or from that region are no longer valid.

“We know that by working together we can reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “Public Health will continue to closely monitor the situation for any changes. We are continuing to ask everyone to take very simple steps to reduce the spread of the disease. Continue to physically distance at least two metres, wear a mask when that cannot be done, wash your hands frequently and stay home when you are sick. They are small things that have a big impact and will help New Brunswick stay in the Yellow level of recovery.”

Media Contact(s)

Alysha Elliott, communications, Department of Health, 506-461-5587.


Cape Breton high school changes team name to be more culturally respectful – CBC

More than 900 students at Riverview Rural High voted on new name

Sep 24, 2020

A high school in Coxheath, N.S., has ended a tradition spanning nearly 50 years by rebranding its sports teams.

Officials at Riverview Rural High announced last year they would drop the name Redmen and begin the search for a team name more culturally respectful toward Indigenous people.

The school said this week that more than 900 students had voted in favour of the Ravens.

School principal Joe Chisholm told CBC Cape Breton’s Mainstreet that more than 100 names were submitted for consideration, including the Rats and the Rascals, but the final vote came down to a choice between Fusion and the Ravens.

Read More:

We Matter Seeking Director, Operations & Outreach

We Matter Seeking Director, Operations & Outreach

September 22nd, 2020- The We Matter team and Board of Directors would like to announce their search for a permanent Co-Director due to the resignation of Director, Operations & Outreach Frances Elizabeth Moore. Frances Elizabeth has played an integral role on the We Matter Team, supporting our operations and outreach, expanding the scope and reach of We Matter as well as ensuring that resources get into the hands of communities and youth. She is often seen as an Auntie or Momma Bear to the youth we work with and a role model within the team, so it is with sad hearts that we wish her the best of luck as she leaves to pursue other opportunities for professional career growth. The We Matter team and Board of Directors want to thank Frances Elizabeth for her drive, dedication, warm heart and passion over the last two plus years where she was a driving force in the growth of the organization, and wish her all of the best in her endeavours.

“The last two plus years with We Matter have been some of the most reaffirming and reinvigorating of my career. I have been truly blessed to work with an organization that is not only staffed by amazing people who are truly passionate about what they do but with youth from all over Turtle Island who gave me so much more than I gave them. While it is with the heaviest of hearts, I leave my role with We Matter I look forward to what this new journey will bring. I will be transitioning to the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre as part of the leadership team at the Nshwaasnangong Child and Family Centre as their Family Centre Manager. Nshwaasnangong opening in December of 2020 is the first of its kind in London (Ontario) and I’m excited to help build the culturally relevant programs and services that will focus on the needs of Indigenous youth and families in the city. I look forward to continuing to support We Matter’s work and see the organization continue to grow as it impacts youth across the country positively. Baamaapii.” – Frances Elizabeth Moore

We Matter is an Indigenous-led and youth-centered organization and registered charity dedicated to Indigenous youth support, hope and life promotion. Our mission is to communicate to Indigenous youth that they matter. This is done through our founding project, the We Matter Campaign which is a national multi-media campaign where Indigenous role models and allies from across Canada submit short videos, art and stories sharing their own experiences of overcoming hardships, and communicating with Indigenous youth that no matter how hopeless life can feel, there is always a way forward. Other pillars of We Matter include our resources, Toolkits (Mini, Support Workers, Teachers and Youth) and Lesson Plans to facilitate dialogue with Youth; the National Ambassadors of Hope program; and our COVID-19 Support Fund, a subsect of our soon to be launched National Mini Grant program. We Matter does so via a small remote team spread across British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario that the Director, Operations & Outreach oversees with the Director, Programs & Youth Engagement.

Interested applicants may view the full job description, qualifications, and application info HERE. For full consideration, applicants are encouraged to submit a resume, cover letter and all supporting documents by October 1st, 2020. Inquiries regarding the application process should be directed to Co-Founder & Board of Directors Secretary, Tunchai Redvers at [email protected]; Co-Founder & Board of Directors Chair Kelvin Redvers at [email protected]; and Director, Programs & Youth Engagement, Chelsea Mulvale at [email protected]


Statement by Premier King on Federal Speech from the Throne

Sep 24 2020

Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King issued the following statement in response to the federal Throne Speech:

“Collectively, as a federation, we need to continue to work together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Canadians from the COVID-19 virus, while at the same time rebuilding our country. We can only do this if we work together as a country and as leaders. The Speech from the Throne shows that the federal government is willing to continue to invest in and support Canadians at a time when there is so much uncertainty ahead.

For the past six months during our weekly First Minister’s calls, I have been advocating for supports that will help Islanders navigate these challenging times, and I am pleased to see reference to these issues. These supports include the extension of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), sector specific funding for industries such as tourism, increased funding for expanding access to high speed internet, and the need to modernize our employment insurance program. These supports will help communities, businesses, and everyday Islanders in the months ahead.

As we rebuild as a country, we need to commit to a more sustainable future. We need our federal government’s support for industries such as tourism, fisheries, agriculture and clean energy to ensure these industries are resilient and continue to be key pillars of our economy for years to come. Climate change drastically impacts these key economic drivers and I will continue to advocate to the federal government for the need to rebuild these industries to be more resilient in the face of a changing climate.

For the past number of years, we have led the country when it comes to early childhood and childcare. I look forward to working with the federal government on a national early learning and childcare system, to enhance what already exists in our province and further support young families on Prince Edward Island.

Canadians got us to where we are today – both historically and during this pandemic – by staying united.  Collectively, we need to continue to address gender inequality, racism, and work towards reconciliation with our indigenous communities. Our federal government reaffirmed their commitment to work with provinces and Canadians to address these, and other inequities in our country.

Last, I look forward to future discussions among my provincial counterparts and our federal government on more stable and sustained health care funding and reaching a long-term agreement on the Canadian Health Transfer in advance of the next fiscal year.”

Media Contact:
Amanda Hamel
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Office of the Premier
(902) 368-4400
[email protected] (link sends e-mail)


Canada needs to properly recognize First Nations right to make a moderate livelihood

First Nations and Canadians across the country are growing increasingly concerned with the violence against indigenous people in St Mary’s Bay in Nova Scotia. Assembly of First Nations National Fisheries Committee Co-Chairs, Regional Chiefs Terry Teegee (BCAFN) and Roger Augustine (AFN PEI/NB), stand in solidarity with the members of Sipekne’katik First Nation in Mi’kma’ki territory as they exercise their treaty right to fish lobster for a moderate livelihood during a global pandemic. This right is protected by Section 35 in the Canadian Constitution Act that recognizes and affirms aboriginal and treaty rights. It is also a right that has been affirmed and upheld by several landmark Supreme Court Decisions, including the Sparrow Decision in 1990 and the Marshall Decision in 1999; the latter of which was, in fact, initiated and won by a Mi’kmaw fisherman.

Regional Chief Teegee stated, “We are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jordan, other Cabinet Ministers, the RCMP and the Premier of Nova Scotia, to protect Indigenous fishers on the east coast. Non-native fishers are playing the race card and are openly being physically violent and in their words against members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation. By not protecting them, Canada supports racists and violence against indigenous peoples.” Conflicts arising between non-Indigenous and Indigenous fishers on the water have existed since contact with little to no action from the Crown or colonial authoritative bodies in order to protect the Indigenous right to fish at an operational level. This lack of protection was never acceptable, and it certainly is not now, as tensions rise and Sipekne’katik fishers carry out their livelihood fishery by setting traps for lobster to feed their families and strengthen their economy in the midst of a global pandemic.

Non-Indigenous fishers in the area have stated publicly and in the media that they will continue to take the Mi’kmaq lobster traps out of the water “under the watchful eye” of the RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard and DFO helicopters and vessels without being charged. These actions without charges indicates that DFO sanctions this vigilantism and mob rule which is a clear example of systemic racism on the water. The Mi’kmaq have a legal right to fish for a moderate livelihood; what the non-Native fishers are doing is illegal.

Apparently, there is no relationship that is more important to the Crown than that of their relationship with Indigenous peoples, as outlined in all federal ministerial mandate letters. This promise needs to be actioned with clear repercussions for non-Indigenous fishers and protection of Sipekne’katik fishers. Otherwise, Crown-Indigenous and settler-Indigenous relations will never advance to achieve meaningful reconciliation, implementation of Indigenous rights and mutual respect.

Regional Chief Roger Augustine stated, “We’ve seen this before with fishers and Canada. Sipekne’katik First Nation is asserting their rights to feed their families. The Federal government has the legal responsibility to ensure the protection and adherence to our rights. We are calling on the Minister to stop sitting on the sidelines, and immediately address the violent, racist attacks and threats against Mi’kmaq fishers by non-Indigenous fishers. Now is not the time for complacency and lackadaisical leadership in the face of rights suppression, and blatant racism, endangering the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

The level of support for Mi’kmaq fishing rights shown by your departments and the RCMP will be watched closely by First Nations in Canada. The government’s actions during this time will be indicative of Canada’s willingness and commitment to support First Nations Treaty Rights. It will be a further test of the Crown’s acknowledgement and commitment to meaningful reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples within all First Nations across Canada.

In Peace and Friendship

Roger Augustine                Terry Teegee
NB/PEI Regional                Chief BC Regional Chief

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Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces $4.9M OceanDNA System™ Project

Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced its newest project, the OceanDNA System™. Led by eDNAtec Inc. together with partners Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut Fisheries Association, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the OceanDNA System will revolutionize how to assess, monitor and characterize the ocean.

With a total project value of $4.9 million, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster has provided $2.2 million in funding to the project with the balance of funding coming from project partners. Seventeen jobs will directly support the research and development activity related to the OceanDNA System, and in addition, graduating university students will also have the opportunity to engage in the project to help build capabilities and experience in this area.

The OceanDNA System has applications across ocean sectors and could be used to help inform sustainable ocean management and activity. By reading DNA from environmental samples, such as sediment or sea water, a comprehensive range of organisms can be identified – from bacteria to marine mammals – which yields a complete picture of the ecosystem. eDNAtec’s technology achieves proven cost reductions, strengthens environmental stewardship, enhances safety and supports regulatory compliance.

Project activity will be led from eDNAtec’s Centre for Environmental Genomics Applications (CEGA) in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador in collaboration with project partners to develop and commercialize genomics solutions to modernize the way we monitor, measure and assess fish stocks. Environmental DNA (eDNA) data can also be combined with complementary data derived from acoustics, remote sensing, counts from fishing activities, and historical knowledge to generate predictive models about the presence, location and abundance of high value target species.

Conventional approaches for ecological assessment, such as direct sampling, and visual/acoustic observation, are expensive and often imprecise. ‘Catch and look’ sampling, sorting and individually identifying organisms is lengthy and labor-intensive and is sometimes harmful or disruptive to rare or endangered species. Through Canada’s Ocean Supercluster program, the OceanDNA System will not only address these limitations with its innovative technology, but will also commercialize the solution in world markets, generating new economic activity, creating new jobs and opportunities, while also helping to position Canada as a global leader in ocean genomics.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is changing the way ocean business is done. With an innovative model for growth that reduces risk for Canadian companies, we are increasing collaboration and data exchange across ocean sectors, creating a platform for the development of commercial, sustainable ocean solutions, building an inclusive and highly-capable workforce, and continuing to drive resiliency in our oceans.

About eDNAtec

eDNAtec, a leading innovator in environmental DNA technologies, is revolutionizing how to assess, monitor and characterize the ocean.  eDNAtec’s EnviroSeq® is a new biological tracking system that analyzes environmental DNA (eDNA) using next-generation sequencing. By reading DNA from environmental samples, such as sediment or sea water, EnviroSeq® can be used in any ocean environment, including harsh arctic conditions, to identify a comprehensive range of organisms – from bacteria to marine mammals – and yield a complete picture of the ecosystem.  EnviroSeq® achieves proven cost reductions, strengthens environmental stewardship, enhances safety and supports regulatory compliance. We empower the world’s ocean industries, including offshore energy, fisheries and aquaculture.


“The Ocean Supercluster is teaching us more about Canada’s great marine resources. We are managing our oceans more sustainably while creating new jobs for Canadians.”

  • The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources

“Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is excited to announce its newest Technology Leadership Project called the OceanDNA System Project. With activity led out of St. John’s, this project brings together partners from different ocean sectors across the country to not only revolutionize the assessment, monitoring, and characterization of the ocean, but also builds capabilities, creates jobs, and economic opportunities through commercialization.”

  • Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“We are excited to work with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and our multi-sectoral partners to develop and apply advanced genomic technologies to characterize precious Ocean ecosystems. Genomic tools have been at the forefront of biological detection and surveillance such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. They represent a paradigm shift in our capacity to detect organisms and this can aid immensely for monitoring the ocean environment.”

  • Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, eDNAtec Inc.

“This project will be seeking to expand the development of eDNA technology to provide significant information to assist in the management of our fishery resources. Used in combination with annual stock surveys and other technologies, including fish tracking programs, this will help improve our understanding of the marine environment and the ecosystem within which we operate our fishery.”

  • Sakiasie Sowdlooapik, Chair of the Nunavut Fisheries Association

“Characterization of the marine environment is a critical requirement for operating safely and responsibly in the ocean, and environmental DNA is a very promising technology that offers huge potential for advancing our capability to monitor changes to that environment.  The oil and gas sector has been working with eDNAtec to advance the development of this technology for a while now, and we’re really excited about working with other sectors through the Ocean Supercluster to expand its applicability.”

  • Dave Finn, CEO, Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador

“The development of this technology can revolutionize how we conduct ecosystem science, extending our understanding and our capacity to manage ecosystems.”

  • David Cote, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Research Scientist and DFO’s lead OceanDNA project coordinator


Media Contact

Nancy Andrews

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster


[email protected]


World Maritime Day – The New Wave

September 24 is World Maritime Day, an annual International Maritime Organization (IMO) observance day dedicated to recognizing marine services, ports, fishing and related industries. This year’s theme, “Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet,” drives awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and member states’ ongoing work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop cleaner fuel and drive digital transformation.

Two J.D. Irving, Limited businesses operate at-sea – Irving Shipbuilding and Atlantic Towing. Together, they strive to reduce our carbon footprint, protect our ocean ecosystems, support ongoing research, and advance technology.

Understanding Marine Life & Reducing Underwater Noise

Atlantic Towing has partnered proactively with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to measure the acoustic signatures of its vessels operating at different speeds to better quantify the impacts of reducing speed in areas frequented by marine life – largely whales. Noise is a significant disturbance to marine mammals and can impact almost all aspects of life.

“Understanding our baseline noise signatures, combined with our knowledge of where whales feed and where their critical habitats are, allows us to minimize our impact,” writes Dan Vyselaar, Director of Technology and Development with Atlantic Towing. “We can shift transit routes further from critical habitats and, at the same time, voluntarily slow down as we move past these areas.”

The biggest contributors to underwater noise? Propellers and engines. Atlantic Towing has already taken steps to reduce its noise pollution at the source. It’s four newest Platform Supply Vessels all feature variable frequency propellers – when on safety standby near an offshore platform, the propellers will turn only as needed to hold constant position, whereas older vessels would “jog back and forth” to keep maintain position, continuously running propellers at a constant RPM.

“The difference with the new PSV 5000’s has been noted in the Grand Banks with some of our most frequent visitors – whales,” notes Vyselaar. “The quieter nature of these vessels, and their ability to hold a constant location, allows nearby marine mammal populations to go about their business – feeding, socializing – virtually undisturbed. Vessel crews have noticed a difference. From a safe distance, they’ve seen and captured remarkable footage of whales in recent years, notably Humpback and Orca pods.”

The marine service provider has continued work with Green Marine to strengthen its support of marine mammal research, understanding and awareness throughout its harbour, coastal and offshore fleets.

While planning for the long-term is always a key priority, the pandemic reality has led Atlantic Towing to also prioritize short-term sustainability measures. These include providing a safe working environment, developing best practices for UV sterilization of all recirculated air on ships, sanitation practices and physical distancing measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Irving Shipbuilding Furthers Climate Research With 3D Wave Design

Irving Shipbuilding, as part of its Value Proposition commitments under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), has invested over $5.75 million in COVE to support development of the programs and operations.

COVE is a world-class facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector and the only hub of its kind in the world where start-up companies, small and medium sized enterprises, large firms and post-secondary expertise are housed together developing ocean technology. Together, it is a catalyst in creating the world’s next practical, commercial, and revolutionary ocean tech advances. In talking about sustainability in the marine sector, one COVE member particularly comes to mind:

3D Wave Design is an Indigenous-owned and operated 3D animation and communications company, owned by Stevens Solutions & Design Inc., which has over 30 years’ experience in operations management, manufacturing, product design, training, marketing, sales, and business development. The company’s software relies on LiDAR data for building 3D terrain with accurate elevation, which is paramount in visualizing environmental data. LiDAR is an active remote sensing method that measures the amount of time it takes for a laser pulse to reach the Earth and return to the system. To capture data over a large area, the LiDAR instrument is mounted to an airplane, helicopter or RPAS.

Many coastal communities are at risk of sea-level rise induced flooding as an effect of a changing climate. Extensive research on the expected influence of these changes is being funded to help decision-makers mitigate risks. Along with 3D Wave’s 3D animation and technical design services, the company has developed an innovative 3D modelling/mapping service, with the support of NRC, NSERC, NSBI, ACOA and Nova Scotia Community College’s Applied Geomatic Research Group. It can now communicate climate change impacts via dynamic, user interactive 3D modeling, for sea level rise, coastal storm surge, and fluvial flooding and are supporting various First Nation communities and municipal, provincial, and federal government decision makers.

3D Wave is currently supporting the following Aboriginal communities: Acadia First Nation communities of Wildcat, Medway, Ponhook, Paqtnkek First Nation and the seaside towns of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg.


Federal fisheries minister, Sipe’knekatik First Nation to begin talks on moderate livelihood fishery –

Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has agreed to begin negotiations next week on implementing Sipekne’katik First Nations’ moderate livelihood fishery, according to the band’s operations manager.

“We plan on starting negotiations next week on implementing our moderate livelihood management plan,” said Rhonda Knockwood on Wednesday.

The move to formal negotiations would be a major step toward the realization of a right acknowledged by the Supreme Court of Canada in its Marshall decision.

For the 21 years since the decision, which acknowledged the right of Mi’kmaw and Maliseet to make a moderate livelihood off natural resources, successive federal fisheries ministers have instead opted to buy up commercial licences and offer them, along with training, to First Nations.

Read More:

Mi’kmaw community says rights-based fishery regulations rival those of DFO – CBC

Sipekne’katik fishery plan based on conservation, long-term assertion of treaty right to fish

Sep 23, 2020

The First Nation community operating a new, self-regulated lobster fishery in Nova Scotia says its harvesting regulations rival and may even exceed the standards of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“They’re pretty much the same regulations when it comes to the [DFO regulated] commercial season,” said Brandon Maloney, director of fisheries for Sipekne’katik First Nation, which launched its first Mi’kmaq-regulated fishery in Saulnierville, N.S., last Thursday.

The launch followed decades of disagreement with government officials over the Mi’kmaq treaty right to earn a “moderate livelihood” from fishing, affirmed by the 1999 Supreme Court ruling in the Marshall case. A rare clarification by the Supreme Court stated that the federal government could regulate treaty fishing if it was justified and if the Mi’kmaq were consulted.

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