Saskatchewan asks judge to evict First Na­tions camp

Calgary Herald - - CANADA - Ryan McKenna

• The Saskatchewan gov­ern­ment is ask­ing a judge to order an Indige­nous protest camp to leave the leg­is­la­ture grounds.

Gov­ern­ment lawyer Michael Mor­ris has told a Regina court that the pro­test­ers are mak­ing it hard for the prov­ince to main­tain the land across from the build­ing.

Teepees have been set up for six months as campers protest what they say is racial in­jus­tice and the dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­ber of Indige­nous chil­dren ap­pre­hended by child-wel­fare work­ers.

Pro­test­ers have filed a court ap­pli­ca­tion of their own seek­ing to have six arrests made dur­ing an evic­tion in June de­clared il­le­gal.

Lawyer Dan LeBlanc, who rep­re­sents the pro­test­ers, told court his clients have a right to free speech.

But Mor­ris says it’s not about whether the pro­test­ers are ad­vo­cat­ing for a good cause but rather about them fol­low­ing the law, in­clud­ing by­laws that ban open fires and struc­tures such as teepees on the prop­erty.

“This case is not about whether the pro­test­ers are ad­vo­cat­ing for an hon­ourable cause,” Mor­ris told court Thurs­day.

“It is not about whether there are too many Indige­nous chil­dren in fos­ter care. It is not about whether the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem is fair for Indige­nous people.

“This case is about the gov­ern­ment’s abil­ity to reg­u­late, main­tain land in Was­cana Cen­tre.”


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