Yvon Thibault of Digby County charged with assault after incident at New Edinburgh lobster plant

Second man charged with attack at New Edinburgh lobster plant

Another man was arrested last month for assaulting Sipekne'katik chief Mike Sack

RCMP in Meteghan, N.S., charged a second man with a month-long attack at a fish plant in New Edinburgh.

In a statement Saturday morning, the RCMP said they charged Digby County's 74-year-old Yvon Thibault with two counts of assault on the Oct. 14 attack.

New Edinburgh, N.S., lobster pound is seen on Oct. 15, two days after being surrounded and vandalized by a large number of commercial fishermen
New Edinburgh, N.S., lobster pound is seen on Oct. 15, two days after being surrounded and vandalized by a large number of commercial fishermen

Another man was arrested last month for assaulting Sipekne'katik Leader Mike Sack that day.

Sgt. Andrew Joyce, RCMP spokesman, explained Saturday morning that Thibault is not guilty of attacking Sack. He said there were two more casualties that day.

One of two sites was the fish plant where the suspected attack occurred, where several hundred commercial fishermen and their allies raided a lobster facility last month. Mi'kmaw fishermen deposited the building's catches.

On Oct. 16, a suspected fire killed the second plant in Middle West Pubnico. Police request support from the public to locate two interested parties.

Thibault will appear in Digby provincial court on Feb. 15, 2021.

"The Nova Scotia RCMP will continue to take action to ensure that anyone who illegally intervene or endanger the welfare of any person or property will be kept liable under Canada's laws," police said in the report.

On Oct. 15, the interior of a van lit on fire outside the lobster pound in New Edinburgh, N.S.
On Oct. 15, the interior of a van lit on fire outside the lobster pound in New Edinburgh, N.S.

Unrest weeks

At the time of these events, there was high friction between non-Indigenous commercial fishermen and First Nations fishermen who began a modest subsistence lobster fishing beyond the federally-mandated commercial season.

Commercial fishermen have been convicted of destroying their fishing gear, torching a van, and stealing lobster.

Twenty-one years earlier, the Supreme Court ruled that the Mi'kmaq had the right to earn "moderate living" from fishing. The court later said the Mi'kmaw fishery could be governed by the federal government but would justify any limitations on it.

Many commercial lobster fishermen claim they consider the new Sipekne'katik fishing in St. Marys Bay illegal and worry that catching lobster outside the mandated season, particularly during the summer spawning time, would affect stocks adversely.

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