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An open letter to ministers Mark Furey and Ralph Goodale on the RCMP’s violent removal of a citizen at the Atlantic Gold public meeting in Sherbrooke, NS

May 29, 2019

To The Honourable Mark Furey, Minister of Justice, Nova Scotia – The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, Canada

Subject: Atlantic Gold Public Meeting Police Actions ‘Shockingly Brutal.’ (Headline, The Chronicle Herald paper edition, May 26, 2019, p.3)

As Canadian Citizens we are deeply disturbed by the “shockingly brutal“ actions used by the RCMP to remove a law-abiding citizen who was in no way causing a disturbance, from a public meeting in Sherbrooke, NS, on Thursday evening, May 24. In addition we are further disturbed that this RCMP action was apparently in response to a request from Atlantic Gold, a company seeking to develop open- pit gold mines in the area.

John Perkins is a member of the Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia Society (SuNNS). He is an informed, knowledgeable individual who is genuinely concerned about the consequences of open-pit gold mining in our province. His concern is shared by many.

While we are aware that in other parts of the world, police have dealt brutally with peaceful citizens opposed to Canadian mining company operations, we demand that in Canada our police be independent and answerable not to corporations, but to our system of democratic law.

Consequently, we are calling for:

1. A public inquiry into the incident in Sherbrooke to ascertain who specifically called the RCMP, and why the RCMP acted immediately, without cause and without further assessment, to brutally remove a concerned law-abiding citizen who was sitting peacefully and in no way creating a disturbance or obstructing justice, from what was advertised as a public meeting.

2. A statement from both our Provincial Minister of Justice and our Federal Minister of Public Safety stating that it is safe for all citizens to engage in democratic, legal, peaceful forms of questioning and dissent around resource extraction issues without intimidation, the threat of police brutality or arbitrary surveillance. We ask for clarification and clear instructions that RCMP are accountable to the appropriate Government Ministers and that they are not to be unduly influenced by resource extraction corporations.

We ask for a response to these requests by June 30th, 2019.


Madeline Conacher, for Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia Society (SuNNS) Email: sunnsmovement@gmail.com www.sunns.org

cc: Federal: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer MP, Jagmeet Singh MP, Elizabeth May MP, Sean Fraser MP, Bill Casey MP

Provincial: Premier Stephen McNeil, Tim Houston MLA, Gary Burrill MLA, Karen Casey MLA, Lenora Zann MLA, Lisa Roberts MLA, Karla MacFarlane MLA

also: Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Appendix: Links to some of the media coverage of the event:

RCMP violently remove and arrest citizen at public meeting about gold mine

Man ejected from gold mine meeting in Guysborough County, N.S., witness says arrest ‘shockingly brutal’

EDITORIAL: Was the RCMP conned by Atlantic Gold into doing their ugly dirty work?

Setting the record straight on Atlantic Gold’s spin job



  1. I, like many other Nova Scotia residents saw the video of the gentleman being evicted from the “public” meeting by force. There was no need for force but more important there was no need for eviction! This man was truly a gentle man. He broke no laws! I hope the bullies ( I will not give them the privilege of being called officers) are held responsible if we have any justice in N.S..

  2. Good thing there wasn’t a distirbance. Might have turned into Davis Day. Good letter.

  3. This crushing of orderly participation in a democratic process is clearly unacceptable. The inability of the government to see and respond appropriately requires urgent attention and response. Thank you for the Advocate.

  4. This is what a police state looks like! Dissenting opinions will make you a target of it.

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