Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Vautour family home was bulldozed on orders from the New Brunswick government.

N.B. man expropriated to make way for park continues fight for justice

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | 3:53 PM ET

Canadian Press: Chris Morris, THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONCTON, N.B. - Jackie Vautour is still looking for justice, more than 30 years after he and his family were forcibly removed from their New Brunswick home to make way for a new national park.

Vautour, 79, called a news conference Wednesday to say he has new evidence his expropriation and eviction in 1976 from what is now Kouchibouguac National Park were illegal.

"There should be a royal commission of inquiry," said Vautour, who struggled at times to keep from crying.

"It was a very serious and bad thing that happened. Those criminals that did that should be arrested in the same manner they arrested my family in 1976."

Vautour said he was recently told by former natural resources minister Roland Boudreau that Boudreau didn't sign the 1976 eviction order that carried his name.

Boudreau, reached for comment at his home in Bathurst, N.B., confirmed he was out of the country at the time of the Vautour eviction and therefore didn't sign the order himself.

But he said he authorized a judge to sign on his behalf.

"I'm responsible," Boudreau said.

Vautour believes there was a scheme to remove him from his property on New Brunswick's eastern shore, but admits he has no documentation to prove such a plot.

Vautour moved back into the park with several members of his family not long after the eviction and has defied authorities ever since to evict him again.

He has become something of a legend in New Brunswick for his tireless battle against the expropriation act that eliminated several long-established communities to make way for the park.

Vautour describes himself as a Mi'kmaq Metis, and former Mi'kmaq chief, Roger Augustine, attended the news conference to show his support.

Augustine, a member of the Eel Ground First Nation in New Brunswick, said the park remains disputed aboriginal territory.

"In the 1960s and '70s, you're going back to years when governments were feared by most people," Augustine said.

"When they moved into a territory, if they wanted your land, I mean we've seen First Nations people across this country stripped of their culture, their land and their rights. To pick on just one family like the Vautours would have been a cakewalk."

The federal government proclaimed Kouchibouguac Park on Jan. 15, 1979, just over two years after the Vautour family home was bulldozed on orders from the New Brunswick government.

Vautour wasn't able to get any satisfaction from the courts, but in 1987 he accepted 50 hectares of provincial Crown land near the park, a $228,000 cash payment, and payment of $50,000 in legal bills. Nevertheless, he has refused to move out of his shack in the park.

Several years ago, Parks Canada changed its policy on creating national parks. Rather than wholesale expropriation, it now assembles real estate for national parks over a period of many years, buying up parcels as they come on the market or as the owners die.

? did he have lawyer like i had ( taking there time and deep-pocketing client until they quite ?

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