Burnt Church fishing dispute cost RCMP $2M

The Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, October 28, 2000 

FREDERICTON — The senior RCMP officer in New Brunswick estimates the force spent $2 million policing the native fishing dispute in Burnt Church, N.B. over the summer. 

The dispute over lobster fishing rights between Mi’kmaq and fisheries officials began last May and lasted until late August on Miramichi Bay. 

Chief Supt. Mike Seguin said policing the on-the-water conflicts between natives and fisheries officers was costly and took its toll on police throughout the province. ”It was a strain on the officers and their families,” he said to ATV television yesterday. ”It was an intense and difficult eight weeks.” 

He also said fewer officers in New Brunswick detachments meant that crime prevention and community policing suffered. 

There are no figures available from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on what its expenses were. 

An agreement between the natives and the DFO still hasn’t been reached.