Editor’s note: The following letter was corrected from the version which was published in the March 24 edition of The Reporter.
Federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan imposed commercial conservation rules on a moderate livelihood fishery for ceremonial and community food after one day of discussion with First Nation leaders in Nova Scotia.
This further delays the implementation of a treaty right and the inclusion of Mi’kmaq knowledge of seasonality and the cultural perspective of conservation as a trust and responsibility for future generations which is more stringent than commercial rules.
Commercial fishers are concerned about commercial conservation laws after the Clearwater Corporation lowered lobster stocks by illegally leaving lobster traps in the water longer than 72 hours because it was more profitable for the company to lease its boat to other parties rather than use to it to retrieve lobster traps. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) issued only warnings for years before finally convicting Clearwater, which was not made public before the corporation was sold to the Mi’kmaq nation.
By appointing Ms. Jordan to negotiate a treaty without giving her the authority or background to negotiate a treaty right upheld in the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 under the Marshall decision, the Prime Minister has manipulated confusion that increases hostility and again delays the process of implementing treaty rights in Canada. This is not a “new path,” it is the tactic used by the federal government to deny and obstruct Treaty rights that is older than the Prime Minister himself.