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Paqtnkek Council passes public health bylaw to manage pandemic response


May 20, 2020 – Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation now has its own bylaw available to protect the health and safety of community members.

Chief and council have approved the Public Health Bylaw, which is based on the public safety provisions of section 81 of the Indian Act. It gives the Chief and council the power to issue orders to limit the spread of communicable diseases. Penalties can also be imposed against anyone who violates the bylaw.

“Indigenous communities have historically been exposed to greater risks from communicable diseases,“ said Chief Paul (PJ) Prosper. “This bylaw lets us create our own unique solutions to further protect our small community of only 135 households.”

Council can issue a blanket order (see list) or a directive to any person, business or organization deemed to be creating a health risk. Possible measures could include any or all of the following:

–  Mandatory curfew within defined hours;

–  An order or directive to endorse provisions in the Nova Scotia Health Protection Act, Federal Quarantines Act or Emergency Measures Act;

–  Checkpoints at entrances and exits to reserve land to restrict traffic from visitors, non-Band members or non-residents;

– A full lockdown of the community;

– Administrative action against a person or business deemed to be in contravention of the bylaw.

Anyone who fails to comply with an order or directive could face penalties, including a fine of up to $1,000, up to 30 days in jail, or both. The bylaw was written in consultation with the local detachment of the RCMP.

Community members can read the full text of the bylaw on the Paqtnkek website under the Notices section. A copy will be distributed to each household, posted throughout the community and shared via social media.


Media contact:

Richard Perry
(902) 870-9662


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April 3, 2020

Chief Paul (PJ) Prosper

Dear community member,

I want to thank each and every one of you for joining us in the fight against this terrible COVID-19 virus. As the numbers climb daily, I join our Grand Chief Norman Sylliboy, the Assembly of Nova Chiefs, Premier Stephen McNeil and others in urging you to stay at home, limit outside travel, avoid large gatherings, maintain a six-foot distance from others, wash your hands frequently and sanitize your surroundings. It is critical, especially to the health of our elders and other vulnerable community members. We are following the lead of health experts around the world. I want to share some of the important work being done on your behalf.

Thank you,
Chief Paul (PJ) Prosper
April 3, 2020

The health centre is currently closed to the public. All messages are checked regularly throughout the day. If immediate assistance is needed, please contact Juliana Julian at 902-338-0678. You can use the health center if you need a phone to make an appointment or to have your doctor appointment over the phone. To book a room, please message the Paqtnkek health center on its Facebook page or contact Juliana Julian at 902-338-0678.

We have arranged for a driver who will be available to pick up prescriptions and drop them off at your door. We are currently exploring other options to help you get to and from appointments. Health Canada has provided guidelines for transporting patients to and from appointments during this pandemic.

The health centre is ordering supplies to create oral health packages for each household.

Health Canada has allowed pharmacists to fill open prescriptions such as Tylenol and Advil for adults or children. Please can contact the drug store directly with your request and our medical driver can pick up the prescription and deliver it to you.

Our community health promotion and prevention worker Kathleen Denny will be working hard to develop some fun and family orientated activities for community members. She will also be starting a separate Facebook page which will offer incentives for participants.

We have coverage for all community members and staff to seek out mental health clinical support. Contact any of the following clinicians and let them know that you’re a Paqtnkek community member or staff member and they can set up an appointment by phone, text or video chat with you. (adults) Tiana Fusco 902-754-4632 or Tammy Kontuk 902-759-4410, (youth) Doreen Shadbolt (parent support/youth) Wendy Digout 902-863-3002 or

24/7 telephone crisis intervention is available for Paqtnkek children, youth and adults. Call (902) 429-8167 or toll-free 1-888-429-8167. Our two community clinicians Michelle Lebrun and Emily Larson-Ure are continuing to see clients by phone and online video conferencing. For addiction support, call Mike Taylor at 902-870-4922 or message him on Facebook.

At this time, we are providing very limited home care services to our clients who either live alone or have very limited access to family members who can help them. Health Canada has provided guidelines for our workers to follow while delivering home care services. Home care clients must help keep our staff safe by practicing social isolation and discontinue unnecessary trips into Antigonish.

We are making bulk purchases of non-perishable foods and basic supplies in case we need to deliver emergency supplies to families.

We have ordered 50 sets of bedding and other supplies in the event that we need to use the gym or other location as a comfort centre if St. Martha’s Hospital reaches full capacity.

Chief and council issued a directive for all independent sellers to close, effective March 29th. This is to reduce the flow of outside traffic into our community. Signs will be put up with this notice.

Gas Bar is an essential service. Hours of Operation effective April 2, 2020 will be from 8 am to 8 pm. Although it is full-service during this pandemic, customers must still go inside to pay for their gas.

Due to the significant loss of revenue in our Band businesses, layoff notices have been issued to some staff in the entertainment centre, tobacco store, daycare, health centre and band administration.

We have met with fisheries staff to discuss delayed openings for the oyster harvesting and lobster fishery. Discussions are ongoing with DFO and impacted communities on the overall fishery industry and more updates to come.

All cheques, including rations, are delivered from the gym. We limit the number of clients inside at any one time and follow all health protocols, including physical distancing. E-transfers are being looked at for those clients who request it. They will need to supply proper banking information and sign waivers to give their approval.

If conditions permit later this month, we might be able to offer diesel card lock services to truckers and limited convenience store operations. Current safety protocols mean we will need to postpone an official public opening ceremony. A business continuity plan, hiring and training plan and cash flow forecasts are also taking place.

To limit personal contact with visitors, we have distributed signs in Mi’kmaq/English to be displayed at homes of some of our more vulnerable members. Please read and respect their requests. To order a sign please contact the health center and leave a message or call Juliana Julian 902-338-0678 or Emily Peter-Paul 902-867-7003.

All provincial court proceedings are done over the phone. If you need a phone to take part in a proceeding, please contact the health centre and leave a message by phone or inbox message or contact a member of council and we can arrange for you to get a phone.

The due date for filing individual income tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020. Most taxation services are asking clients to mail in their forms, and they will contact you once they are completed.

Health Canada has provided our frontline health workers with gloves, gowns and masks to use while delivering services to community members.

Our local suppliers are working on getting individual hand sanitizers for each household.

All repairs/renovations that require workers inside homes are put on hold until after Covid-19.

We are meeting daily with Paqtnkek emergency committees, other Chiefs and other levels of government to stay on top of developments. We are closely monitoring the extra expenditures made to help us manage this crisis and will seek appropriate compensation from other levels of government.

Along with Health Director Juliana Julian, we are using video and community radio to provide regular updates on our pandemic planning. If you have a question you would like addressed during our live broadcasts, please email or send to me or any councilor.

*I encourage you to visit our website at for a list of current announcements, resources and important notices. Also, please follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts for up-to-the-minute announcements.

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Bayside Development Corporation and Natural Forces secure a solar energy power purchase agreement for
Bayside Travel Centre

Renewable energy project to promote solar energy at the new Bayside Travel Centre on Highway 104

Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Nova Scotia – On behalf of Paqtnkek First Nation’s Bayside Development Corporation, renewable energy developer Natural Forces has secured a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with NS Power Inc. This agreement allows for the sale of renewable energy generated from the proposed 75 kW solar photovoltaic system, which will be located on the roof of the new Bayside Travel Centre at the new Highway 104 interchange at Exit 32-B.

This will be the community’s third renewable energy project, following their successful bid for a similar 20-year Power Purchase Agreement last year for a 72 kW solar system and the Amherst Community Wind Project, which was jointly developed by Natural Forces and the 13 Mi’kmaq Bands of Nova Scotia, including Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation.

“Natural Forces and Paqtnkek First Nation have been working together on solar energy projects for the past couple of years and we are pleased to have succeeded in securing a second Power Purchase Agreement!” says Roby Douglas of Natural Forces.

“Our business model focuses on developing renewable energy projects in partnership with organizations and communities across Canada. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work alongside Chief Paul Prosper, Bayside Development Corporation’s CEO Rose Paul, the councilors of Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and the Bayside Travel Centre project team over at HATCH. Natural Forces is thrilled to work with such an experienced, professional group to move this project forward!”

The Solar Electricity for Community Buildings Pilot Program, which was run from 2017 to 2019, allowed eligible community entities such as Municipalities, First Nations, Universities, and Not for Profit organizations to secure long-term power purchase agreements with Nova Scotia Power.

CEO Rose Paul, Bayside Development Corporation:

“This project will be an exciting addition to Bayside Development Corporation’s new Travel Centre, and a key piece in our vision to have the Bayside Travel Centre be an eco-friendly rest-stop for people traveling to and from Cape Breton. The revenue that is generated from this project will support our economic development initiatives for the next 20+ years. As a community, we are incredibly proud to be a part of the growing movement towards providing a sustainable future for our Band members and Nova Scotians in general.”

This project will provide up to 115,000 kWh of clean, emission-free power and will displace up to 88,700 pounds of coal annually.

The project is owned entirely by the Bayside Development Corporation and will be constructed and commissioned by Natural Forces. Bayside Development Corporation is the business arm of Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation in northeastern Nova Scotia. Natural Forces is a maritime-owned renewable energy company with over 80 years of combined experience and has deployed countless renewable energy projects around the world.

Roby Douglas; Natural Forces
Tel: (902) 422 9663

CEO Rose Paul, Bayside Development Corporation
Tel: (902) 386-2781