SAULNIERVILLE, N.S. — A Nova Scotia fisherman whose boat was stolen and burned Monday says he believes it was targeted because he is Aboriginal, as tensions continue over the Indigenous fishery in the area.
But Alex McDonald said he gets along well with non-Indigenous lobster fishermen in the area and doesn’t believe any of them are to blame.
“I know the other fishermen so I don’t believe it was my fellow fishermen that fish beside me. For all the years that I’ve been fishing I haven’t had any problems with anybody. I fish the same licence that they fish,” he said Tuesday.
McDonald said he thinks someone is trying to create trouble — noting that a dry-docked, non-Aboriginal fisherman’s boat was burned in Weymouth North last week.
RCMP said Tuesday both fires appear to have been deliberately set and are asking the public to come forward with any information that could assist in their investigations.
There have been tensions in the area recently over the Indigenous ceremonial and food fisheries, and last month two non-Aboriginal men were charged with threatening Indigenous fishermen online.
“We don’t know if they are connected or not,” Premier Stephen McNeil said Tuesday when asked about whether the fires were related to the brewing problems in the fishery.
McDonald said he went to the Comeauville wharf midday Monday to check on his boat, the Buck and Doe, but it was gone, and lines used to secure it to the wharf had been burned.