Saskatchewan premier unsure if visiting protest camp would have helped

Saskatchewan premier unsure if visiting protest camp would have helped

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he’s never met with anyone protesting outside the legislature and didn’t see a need to make an exception when Indigenous protesters set up a camp this past fall.

Moe said cabinet members were more than capable of working through some of the protesters’ concerns.

“I don’t know if it would have resolved it in a quicker fashion or not. The fact of the matter is … those individuals were engaged with on multiple occasions with multiple members of the cabinet,” he said in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press.

“I haven’t, in fairness, really conversed with anyone directly that is running a protest or a camp in front of the legislature.”

The Justice For Our Stolen Children camp sprung up in late February — shortly after the cases of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine resulted in acquittals.

Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man, died from a shot to the head on a farm near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016. The landowner, Gerald Stanley, was acquitted of second-degree murder after testifying that his gun went off accidentally.

Fontaine was 15 years old when she disappeared in Winnipeg in 2014. Her body, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks, was pulled from the Red River eight days later. A jury found Raymond Cormier not guilty of second-degree murder.

The camp’s members were protesting what they said was racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children in care.

Spokeswoman Robyn Pitawanakwat said a visit from Moe may have led to a solution.

“I think that him showing up to have the conversation would have indicated that he was invested in some sort of outcome that would have benefited Indigenous families in Saskatchewan,” she said.

Cabinet ministers who came to the camp didn’t listen to requests, Pitawanakwat said.

The camp, which was ordered to be dismantled by a judge in September, helped reunited 12 families with children in care, she said.

“We were able to help individual families but the system is still working against Indigenous youth.”

The government is working with 17 First Nations on child-and-family- service agreements but more effort is needed, Moe said.

Since the Boushie trial, Moe’s government has proposed updated trespassing laws which would require people to get permission before going on private land.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations has said the proposals were drafted without any Indigenous consultation and warns that the planned legislation could lead to more clashes.

Moe said everyone in the province was consulted through an online survey and he continues to talk to First Nations leaders across the province.

Just Posted

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Alberta’s declining COVID-19 numbers are a positive sign for the province. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer down to 634 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone down to 2,054 active cases

Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Rylan Thiessen (26) guards the front of the net as goalie Connor Unger makes a save on Winnipeg Ice forward Skyler Bruce during a Western Hockey League game on April 14 at the Brandt Centre in Regina. Brandon won 5-3. (Keith Hershmiller Photography)
Two big trades provide stability for Red Deer Rebels

All Connor Ungar wanted was an opportunity and he’s finally found it.… Continue reading

(Screenshot).
Seven central Alberta charities benefit from community foundation grants

Seven central Alberta charities have received grants from the Red Deer and… Continue reading

Red Deer Gun Show organizer, Harold Drok, is concerned $1 fee from each ticket sale will go to Westerner Park once shows can be restarted there. This new policy replaces parking fees which will be waived for future Westerner Park events. (Black Press file photo)
Event organizer concerned about Westerner Park’s new parking fee model

A show organizer is concerned this could impact proceeds

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Organizers of central Alberta anti-lockdown rodeo plead not guilty

Ty and Gail Northcott charged under the Public Health Act

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

FILE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Lee has signed legislation putting public schools and districts at risk of losing civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or employees use multi-person bathrooms that do not reflect their gender at birth. Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill Friday, May 14, 2021 cementing another policy into law in Tennessee that LGBTQ advocates say discriminates against their community. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, file)
Tennessee to mandate bathroom signs about transgender use

Tennessee to mandate bathroom signs about transgender use

(CPAC)
Trudeau says he knew about investigation into general overseeing vaccines weeks ago

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he learned weeks ago that… Continue reading

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine and avoid quarantine on return if they meet some straightforward conditions, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirms.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Canadians can drive to U.S. for COVID-19 vax and avoid quarantine, Ottawa confirms

TORONTO — Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Quebec can modify part of the Canadian Constitution unilaterally: Trudeau

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Quebec can unilaterally modify part… Continue reading

In this Thursday, April 29, 2021, file photo, giant bucket-wheel excavators extract coal at the controversial Garzweiler surface coal mine near Jackerath, West Germany. Canadian environmentalists are welcoming a report from the International Energy Agency that says new fossil fuel investment must end if the world is to meet its climate goals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Martin Meissner
Canadian environmentalists happy with International Energy Agency report

Environmentalists say a report from the International Energy Agency that concludes investment… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ceasefire needed in Israeli-Palestinian conflict to avoid loss of more civilians: PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is calling for a… Continue reading

A forest fire burns late into the evening northeast of Prince Albert, Sask., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
Saskatchewan wildfire grows, forcing evacuations in the area to expand

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — Dry conditions and strong winds caused a large… Continue reading

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Tam hopeful for summer even as Canada hits grim death milestone in COVID-19 pandemic

OTTAWA — Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says she expects… Continue reading

Most Read