FSIN questioning how Sask. legislation will affect cannabis retail, bylaw enforcement on First Nations
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) questions how the provincial government can increase First Nations autonomy by amending legislation when self-governance is an “inherent treaty right.”
The provincial government is amending legislation in a move that officials say will increase self-governance for First Nations.
“To give First Nations more autonomy? They’ve had all the autonomy and jurisdiction and sovereignty rights as treaty people,” said FSIN chief Bobby Cameron.
“We don’t need any federal or provincial government rubber stamping or giving their approval. It’s already there.”
The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Amendment Act, 2022 establishes a provincial legal framework for First Nations to license and regulate on-reserve cannabis retailers and distributors.
The proposed amendments would give First Nations the chance to develop their own regulations consistent with federal and provincial legislation and allow these communities to establish a local cannabis authority.
“One of the biggest benefits that they’ll be able to access the product from the Canadian government so they’ll be able to ensure that the product they are getting is safe for their consumers,” said Lori Carr, the minister responsible for SLGA.
Earlier this year, the government announced changes to the cannabis act that would allow on-reserve cannabis retailers to operate without an SLGA permit provided that the First Nation establishes its own regulatory framework in agreement with the province.
“We’re just taking those regulations and we’re putting them into legislation and it is something that the First Nations were asking for,” Carr said.
A number of First Nations cannabis retailers already operate on reserve under their own jurisdiction and regulations, including Pheasant Rump Nakota Nation, Zagime Anishinabek and Muscowpetung.
“Our First Nations have always exercised their inherent Treaty right to self determination, jurisdiction and sovereignty, and the same goes with this particular item on the cannabis legislation,” Cameron said.
“Our First Nations are well advanced, some that have entered into the cannabis industry they have their own regulations and they have their own bylaws.”
According to Carr, on-reserve retailers would have the choice to continue operating their own way or under the SLGA framework. However, there could be repercussions, if law enforcement decides.
Cameron said the FSIN’s position has been “consistent since day one” and he will stand behind whatever decision each First Nation makes. However, the FSIN chief expressed frustration with a lack of consultation and information regarding the proposed amendment.
“As an elected leader with the region and traditional territories, I’ve heard very little, if any to be honest, on what these rules would be,” he said.
The official opposition recognized cannabis regulations fall in a jurisdictional grey area during the second reading of the amendment act on Wednesday. NDP MLA Meara Conway said the provincial government needs to ensure there is more clarity on the issue.
“We will be engaging with stakeholders to ensure that the government has gotten this legislation right,” Conway said.
Under the amendments, all Saskatchewan cannabis retailers will only require proof of age when a purchaser appears to be under the age of 25.
Currently, retailers are required to ask for identification from all purchasers.
The Saskatchewan government also introduced the Summary Offences Procedure Amendment Act, 2022 on Tuesday.
Muskoday and Whitecap Dakota First Nations entered into a pilot project with the provincial government to address longstanding issues around enforcement of First Nations’ laws.
Whitecap Chief Darcy Bear said the amendments will give the communities access to prosecution and enforcement tools that “give force to our laws in areas such as environmental protection and community safety.”
Enforcement and prosecution has been a challenge on First Nations for decades, according to Cameron.
He said First Nations do not have an on-reserve judge to prosecute offenders, something that the FSIN has been pushing for.
Cameron called the pilot program a good initiative, but he’d like to see it expanded to other First Nations communities.
“We need more of that in northern Saskatchewan. I think of communities like La Ronge and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, where there is the gang activity and the violence with alcohol and drugs is rampant,” Cameron said, adding it is not uncommon for First Nations to declare states of emergency due to violence.
The amendment would give First Nations communities a legal framework to more easily enforce laws and bylaws on reserve, according to the government.
"These amendments will allow these and other First Nations communities in the future to use the more simplified summary offences procedure, instead of the long-form process under the federal Criminal Code, to issue tickets and fines such as those issued for traffic violations and other provincial offences,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre in a press release on Tuesday.
First Nations have the choice to opt into the summary offence procedure provisions under the act.
Both bills entered a second reading on Wednesday. Debate for the bills has been adjourned to a later date.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
With the anniversary of Ukraine's invasion by Russia around the corner, CTV News sat down with a Russian warfare expert to discuss how he sees the conflict playing out and what happens next.
According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, as of Thursday morning there were extreme cold or winter storm warnings active from coast to coast, with the harshest extreme cold warnings stretching from northern Alberta all the way to Nova Scotia.
Would you pay $300 a year for quick access to a nurse? Dealing with demand, Ontario doctors get creative
Paid subscriptions to on-demand care are among the many strategies primary health-care providers in Ontario are adopting in order to meet increased demand for access to doctors in the past year, while also managing staffing shortages.
Nestle Canada says it is winding down its frozen meals and pizza business in Canada over the next six months. The four brands that will no longer be sold in the freezer aisle at Canadian grocery stores are Delissio, Stouffer's, Lean Cuisine and Life Cuisine.
The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down due to risks of harm for people on the ground, officials said Thursday.
A former 'Dances With Wolves' actor accused of sexually abusing Indigenous girls and leading a cult must remain held without bail until his next court hearing, a judge ordered Thursday morning.
Will we see six more weeks of winter, or an early spring? Here’s what some of the groundhogs (and one human) have predicted so far, from coast-to-coast.
The United States has answered President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's plea for rockets that can strike deep behind the front lines of the nearly year-long conflict with Russia. Now Russian forces will need to adapt or face potentially catastrophic losses.
A former commander of Russia's Wagner mercenary group who fled to Norway told Reuters he wanted to apologize for fighting in Ukraine and was speaking out to bring the perpetrators of crimes to justice.
Aaron Benneweis, 46, has been charged by Saskatoon Police with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor while in a position of trust or authority.
A man accused of killing his girlfriend is sending harassing social media messages to her family over social media — even though he's in jail.
A Saskatoon pharmacy has been ordered to pay over $55,000 after acknowledging its guilt for improperly billing for medications.
New documents show what led to a couple handing out cannabis-infused gummies to children in Winnipeg - and what happened in the hours directly after.
RCMP have arrested a 17-year-old male from Moose Lake in connection to a double homicide in The Pas last month.
A Manitoba judge is being asked to decide whether Premier Heather Stefanson violated conflict of interest rules, as alleged by the leader of Manitoba's Liberal Party.
A city staffer in Chestermere is now facing a formal charge of assault after police were made aware of an incident while she was working at city hall last month.
A court has seen video of a Calgary pastor encouraging truckers to keep blocking the Canada-U.S. border to protest COVID-19 restrictions because the world was watching.
Judy Preete is the custodian at Indus School, just east of Calgary and is also one of 12 finalists from schools all over Canada and the United States for the annual Custodians Are Key competition hosted by Tennant Company.
The Operation Friendship Seniors Society (OFSS) announced Wednesday that it would be shutting down services at the McCauley Seniors drop-in facility.
Four people in their 30s have now been charged with robbing a pawn shop in south Edmonton, while police work to determine if one of the accused also shot two workers at another store in December.
A 58-year-old man from Stony Plain, Alta., has been charged with possession of child pornography and transmitting child pornography.
'We win or it’s free' paralegal bribed court clerk in traffic ticket fixing scheme: testimony alleges
A paralegal firm whose tagline is “we win or it’s free” bribed a Toronto traffic court clerk to change legal records to make it look like they had won, said the clerk in the first time he has testified publicly about the case.
Toronto and most of Ontario are in for a frigid bout of winter weather, according to Environment Canada.
An outage experienced by Air Canada impacted operations at Toronto Pearson International Airport Thursday afternoon.
EXTREME COLD WARNING
EXTREME COLD WARNING | Here's when frigid temperatures will arrive in Ottawa
Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning with Ottawa expected to see its coldest temperatures in years.
Two parents are facing charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm after a toddler suffered an opioid overdose at a home in Kingston, Ont. last week.
As March Break approaches, travel agents are experiencing a surge in bookings, with many families choosing to travel to Disney World in Florida despite the rising cost.
British Columbia is expanding mental-health and substance-use services for children and youth by adding new multi-disciplinary teams to seven school districts.
'He’s the Downtown Eastside newspaper': Community push for City of Vancouver to recognize street artist
Community members on the Downtown Eastside want the City of Vancouver to recognize Smokey Devil, a well-known street artist .
The number of patients with COVID-19 in B.C. hospitals declined again this week, once again reaching a low not seen since before the province began including incidental hospitalizations in its count.
After an extremely mild month of January, the province is bracing for a blast of arctic air that will move in tonight and last until Saturday. Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued extreme cold warnings that covers most of the province with wind chills expected to be between -38 and -42 across the South and -50 across Northern Quebec.
A beloved man who was a fixture on the streets of Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood died last year from a combination of street drugs in his system, including fentanyl, a coroner has ruled.
The discovery of major cracks on the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge is causing trouble for off-island commuters, with traffic down from three to two lanes in each direction. According to Transport Quebec, it's difficult to say when conditions on the bridge will return to normal.
Hazmat teams were called to the BC Cancer Clinic in Victoria on Thursday due to reports of a "noxious odour" in the building.
Two men from Langford, B.C., have been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking after officers executed search warrants in the Greater Victoria area.
The tight-knit community of Quadra Island, B.C., is grieving the death of 39-year-old Jessica McLaggan, whose death is being investigated as a homicide.
On the day that Shubenacadie Sam predicted six more weeks of winter, there are extreme cold warnings cautioning that the coldest air of the season is about to arrive in the Maritimes.
Police in Sackville, N.B., are investigating after seven children ingested cannabis edibles at a middle school on Wednesday.
An extreme cold warning has been issued across the region, with some saying the arctic air could break record-low temperatures in the Maritimes.
An argument between two young children playing outside together escalated to violence when a parent got involved, a North Bay mom says.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is holding a big reveal Friday morning: the winner of a $48 million Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball draw.
The past few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for 16-year-old Ra'Jah Mohamed, a student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School.
'Time to move on': Reaction as Udo Haan found not criminally responsible for wife’s death, house explosion
A Kitchener man, who was charged with killing his wife and then blowing up their home in 2018, has been found not criminally responsible.
Waterloo regional police say they’ve arrested multiple people and one person was taken to hospital following reports of an armed robbery at Conestoga Mall on Thursday.
A blast of cold Arctic air is expected to reach southern Ontario Thursday night paired with possible heavy blowing snow, according to Environment Canada.