The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is criticizing the province for their investigation that found a Canoe Lake man guilty of selling fish without a licence.
Earlier this week paNOW learned of a 16-month investigation and subsequent court case that found Donald Iron illegally sold fish on a number of occasions for a total of $90. This information was obtained from an online legal database, although it appears the decision and details have since been withdrawn from that website.
While the details of the way the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment conducted its investigation is subject to a media ban, the FSIN said Iron was induced and lured into selling the fish. It labeled the court decision “unjust” and was also heavily critical of the resources used in the matter.
“This is another example of the government continuing to waste resources to fight First Nations exercising their Inherent and Treaty Rights,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a media release Friday. “The government should be spending resources arresting crystal meth and opioid dealers, who have created epidemics in our communities. There are far more important issues to combat than a 16-month sting for $90 worth of fish. “
Cameron questioned the government’s priorities.
“Why aren’t these resources being better utilized fighting the highest drunk driving offences, the highest domestic violence offences or even the highest rates of youth smokers in the country?” he said in the media release.
paNOW reached out to the provincial government for comment regarding the resources invested in the case but did not get a response.
In an email, the Ministry of Environment said it does not comment on cases that are still before the courts. Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for Feb. 14.
It said the publication ban was put in place "to protect investigation techniques used by conservation officers and the identity of the individual conservation officer involved in this case."
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