Government Biding Its Time in Land Dispute

Tuesday, September 16, 2003 at 14:06




Officials with Saskatchewan Environment say Norman Bonneau’s days of occupying Crown Land are almost over.


Earlier this month, the Beauval-area man appeared in a Battleford courtroom where he lost his request to stay on a small section of land near the Waterhen River with his family.


The Aboriginal man has argued he doesn’t need permission to occupy the land of his ancestors and doesn’t intend to buy any permits.


However, the director of compliance for Saskatchewan Environment, Dave Harvey, says it isn’t that simple and Bonneau will have to get a permit if he wants to stay anywhere on public land.


Harvey says Bonneau is long overdue on his deadline to leave, and as a result, the authorities may have to move in soon.


Senior conservation officers say Bonneau also cleared trees on the land, something not allowed without authorization.


Harvey acknowledges that was part of their initial investigation, but right now, they’re only focusing on the unlawful possession of the land.