Who is breaking the law?

BY BENNO BARG*
SHUNPIKING, September, 2000 / Volume 5, Number 36

Fisheries Minister Herb Dhaliwal keeps saying he will not begin to negotiate until the natives at Burnt Church stop their illegal fishing, a right which they have had from time immemorial and which they have never given up.

However, I find it hard to believe that the actions of the DFO are legal. Their actions appear to be directed at provoking incidents of violence in order to validate the aggression of the department.

When charges are laid against the department, who is charged with the investigation of these event?

It is the RCMP that is investigating the ramming incidents, the same force that has been supporting the department in its theft of native lobster traps.

I was an independent observer of a similar investigation in Burnt Church in June. A similar kind of incident of attempted boat ramming occurred on June 12.
Who investigated this incident? None other than the driver of the boat doing the ramming. When his superior was questioned about the appropriateness of this, he assured us it was quite appropriate and indicated they do this all the time.

This ever-widening escalation of violence must stop. Canada must honour the treaties. We must stop the harassment and intimidation of aboriginal peoples who are trying to live out their treaty obligations. Dhaliwal must sit down with the natives and negotiate without preconditions.

*Benno Barg lives in Kitchener, Ontario. This article was forwarded to us courtesy of Benno, and first appeared in the Kitchener Recorder.


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