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
The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that was found floating over sensitive military sites in the western United States had been tracked by Canada's government since last weekend as it passed through Canadian airspace, sources tell CTV News.
The oldest preserved vertebrate brain has been found in a 319-million-year-old fossilized fish skull that was removed from an English coal mine over a century ago.
It took 40 years, but former NHL player and coach Ted Nolan is now one of eight Indigenous ex-NHL-ers being honoured hockey trading cards as a part of Upper Deck's First Peoples Rookie Card series.
A B.C. man who was mistaken for the target in a police takedown and shot by an officer in 2013 has had his lawsuit alleging negligence dismissed.
Three bodies found in a vacant Detroit-area apartment building have been identified as those of three aspiring rappers who went missing nearly two weeks ago, police said Friday.
For much of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh's double murder trial, witnesses have talked about a generous and loving man -- but prosecutors want jurors to know that same man stole over US$4 million from his housekeeper's relatives after she died at work, and killed his wife and son to cover up his crimes.
A senior aide to Japan's prime minister is being dismissed after making discriminatory remarks about LGBTQ2S+ people.
A jury on Friday decided Elon Musk didn't deceive investors with his 2018 tweets about electric automaker Tesla.
A new research from a citizen science program suggests that stars are disappearing before our eyes at an 'astonishing rate.'
BHP is moving forward with its plans to build the world's largest potash mine.
After months of driving around the city with an advertisement for a kidney donor on her bright red car, Debbie Onishenko will soon be able to rip off the decals as her search has ended.
The community of Dundurn is rallying behind a firefighter who lost her home in a fire.
A fire destroyed a popular paint and hobby shop in Winkler Thursday afternoon with black smoke prompting Winkler police to close off a stretch of Highway 32 for more than an hour.
Manitoba has expanded the types of identification acceptable for use to purchase liquor, cannabis and lottery tickets in the province.
The Winnipeg Police Service responded to two homicides in the span of two hours this week.
Alberta's high court is being asked to overturn a review board decision relating to the stabbing deaths of five young people at a Calgary house party on the grounds the former provincial justice minister interfered.
Police are investigating a series of tire slashing incidents in northeast Calgary.
Thousands of Alberta lawyers are expected to take part in an online debate Monday morning over the issue of mandatory Indigenous history training.
An Edmonton man who received a ticket from the city under the phase 2 residential parking ban earlier this week says his street has finally been plowed — five days after his vehicle was ticketed.
Marc, Seth and Zacary James are the Melisizwe Brothers, and they performed at Jasper Place High School on Friday as part of Edmonton Public School Black History Month celebrations.
New MRI-radiation hybrid machine in Alberta expected to improve cancer treatment by at least 20 per cent
Technology in Alberta that is expected to allow doctors to more accurately and effectively treat cancerous tumours with radiation enters clinical trials next week.
Speed cameras clocked a car driving 70 km/h over the limit. Here's how the owner fought the ticket and won
After being charged with speeding by a city-operated photo radar device, a Toronto family was able to successfully fight the charge in court largely due to one small detail.
The death of a longtime CBC journalist who was shoved to the ground in Toronto has now been classified as a homicide and police have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in the case.
Police are investigating a stabbing in downtown Toronto Friday night.
A federal government department has fired 49 employees who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit while they were employed.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the cancellations and closures in the Ottawa area due to the extreme cold temperatures.
EXTREME COLD WARNING
EXTREME COLD WARNING | Deep freeze hits Ottawa, wind chill drops below -40
Extreme cold temperatures will continue to grip Ottawa and eastern Ontario Friday night and Saturday morning, with the wind chill making it feel colder than -40.
The mayors of Port Coquitlam and Port Moody want Nav Canada — the organization that creates flight paths for airports across the country — to pause its plans for a new YVR arrivals route that will direct many large airplanes over their communities.
'Just absolute scum of the earth': Family upset after senior with dementia defrauded by someone posing as care worker
Seventy-nine-year-old William Herbert thought the woman coming to see him was a nurse who needed to do bloodwork. But instead of helping him, it’s alleged she stole from him.
Homicide investigators are looking into whether a vehicle fire in Surrey on Thursday morning is connected to the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy in Burnaby hours later.
The ongoing cold snap has Quebecers cranking up the heat in their homes, which Hydro-Quebe says has caused a record peak in electricity demand. In a Tweet Friday, the hydroelectricity supplier said that around 5:30 p.m., demand across the province reached 42,700 megawatts.
A reclusive billionaire who headed a Montreal tech company is stepping down one day after Radio-Canada/CBC published a report that alleged he paid teenage girls for sex for more than a decade.
The Montreal fire department is advising people to avoid Sherbrooke Street East at Carignan Avenue in the Longue Pointe neighbourhood as a five-alarm fire is burning.
An emergency room doctor on Vancouver Island is calling on the leadership of the health authority to resign, saying harassment by Island Health officials is prompting doctors to abandon the region amid a critical shortage of health-care workers.
A local state of emergency that was issued in Campbell River, B.C., following a landslide in mid-January has been lifted, the city announced Friday.
A man accused of fatally stabbing another man outside a busy mall in Nanaimo, B.C., has been charged with second-degree murder, according to the Nanaimo RCMP.
Temperatures are plummeting across the Maritimes as a blast of Arctic air moves into the region.
A seafood processing plant in Portage, N.B., has been completely destroyed following a major fire Friday afternoon.
Atlantic Lottery says it has been contacted by a player who believes they have the winning ticket to this week's $31 million Lotto Max Draw.
Canada's newest millionaire, an 18-year-old university freshman from northern Ontario, has achieved a lot of firsts with a recent lottery win. Here is her story.
Ontario Provincial Police have closed a portion of Highway 400 north of Toronto following multiple collisions due to whiteout conditions.
An investigation that lasted almost two years has resulted in moose hunting violation convictions for six people and a lodge in Red Lake in northwestern Ontario.
Police say they’ve arrested three people and one person was taken to hospital following an armed robbery at Conestoga Mall on Thursday.
Ontario Provincial Police are once again reminding drivers to clear the snow and ice off of their vehicles before they head out onto the road.
Waterloo regional police issued a robbery warning Thursday evening after they said two convenience stores and a restaurant in Kitchener were robbed within a 30 minute span.