Minister didn't sign N.B. home eviction order 32 years ago, Vautour says
More than 30 years after he and his family were removed from their New Brunswick home for a new national park, Jackie Vautour says he has new evidence showing his expropriation and eviction were illegal.
At a news conference in Moncton on Wednesday, 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.
But Boudreau says that even though he was out of the country at the time, he authorized a judge to sign the order for him.
The expropriation in 1976 of about 10 Acadian villages to create what is now called Kouchibouguac National Park disrupted the lives of more than 1,000 people whose families had fished and farmed the land for generations.
Vautour's home was bulldozed in 1976, but he returned less than two years later.
He has remained on park land ever since, despite confrontations with police.
Vautour, 79, 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 believes there should be an inquiry into the expropriation.
Former chief supports Vautour
Roger Augustine, a former chief of the Eel River Bar First Nation, said Vautour has his support.
"As far as the way he was treated and the way the family was treated, I got really interested and I got really curious as to how it will outcome," Augustine said on Wednesday. "I'll provide any assistance and I'll provide any connections that I have in this country."
Augustine added that the Mi'kmaq consider all provincial and national parks in Atlantic Canada as their land.
Vautour previously challenged the expropriation in court but it was ruled lawful.
Parks Canada now assembles real estate for national parks over many years, buying up parcels as they come on the market or when owners die.
The Canadian National Parks Act, given royal assent in 2000, states that Parks Canada can no longer acquire land through expropriation.