Eskasoni Wins Income Tax Case For Local Fishermen

April 05, 2013



After nearly five years of negotiations with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), fishers from the Eskasoni First Nation have finally been advised that their income earned from the communal fishery will be considered tax exempt.    This represents a reversal of CRA’s prior position, which had resulted in Eskasoni fishers being taxed on the income they earned from the commercial communal fishery established following the Marshall case.

This long-awaited decision is an important victory and signals a significant move forward in the recognition of Aboriginal rights, and specifically commercial fishing rights.  Importantly, this decision was reached without lengthy and costly litigation with CRA.      

It was through the dedication and joint efforts of Chief and Council, band members, Crane Cove Seafoods and Eskasoni’s legal advisors that this positive result was achieved.    

Chief Leroy Denny said, “I am very happy that CRA has finally agreed to recognize our fishers as tax exempt.  This is an important decision not only for our fishers but for our entire community and the Mi’kmaq Nation in general. In the weeks to come, there are many questions and concerns to be addressed, and we will continue to keep the community informed of our progress. I would like to thank the community fishers and their families for having the patience and faith in our team in resolving this matter.