Man charged with arson after N.S. fish plant storing Mi'kmaq-caught lobster torched

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YARMOUTH, N.S. — The RCMP have charged a 24-year-old man with arson in relation to a fire that destroyed a fish plant in 2020 amid tensions over a Mi'kmaq lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Police say the fire in Middle West Pubnico took place around midnight on Oct. 16, 2020, when nobody was in the building.

The blaze occurred two days after a confrontation at the plant when about 200 non-Indigenous fishers and their supporters converged on the building, which was storing lobster caught by Sipekne'katik First Nation.

The band's fishery had captured national attention in September 2020 when its fishers started setting lobster traps in St. Marys Bay before the start of the federally regulated fishing season.

Police said today they arrested Brendon Douglas James Porter of East Pubnico without incident on Wednesday, and that he appeared in Yarmouth provincial court on Thursday, where he was released on strict conditions to appear in Shelburne provincial court on Aug. 25.

Last October, RCMP released images showing two men walking away from the fish plant on the night of the arson, and they requested the public's help in identifying them.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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