RCMP Face Lockout in British Columbia

Written by Harold McNeill on September 29th, 2011. Posted in Editorials


RCMP Strike 2
RCMP Members Face Lockout in BC (file photo)

The following ‘alternate’ news report was written after the recent dust-up between BC and Ottawa over RCMP contract services in BC. In the following ‘News Release”, our political leaders have been given Management and Labour Association roles befitting the dispute:

1 Vic Toews, Federal Minister for Public Safety (Conservative), spokesperson for the powerful Federal Employers Group2 administering RCMP contracts across Canada.
Shirely Bond, Solicitor General for BC  (Liberal), the spokesperson for the BC Employees Group providing service across BC.
3 Jaspir Sandhu, an Ottawa based, Public Service Safety Critic (NDP), a left-leaning group supporting Employees.

For Immediate Release

Victoria, British Columbia
September 28, 2011

RCMP Threaten Strike

In a surprise move yesterday, the RCMP in Ottawa, operating under the direction of the Federal Employers Association (a Conservative Group) threatened to withdraw all contract policing services in British Columbia.  The threat comes at a particularly bad time as any widespread disruption of police services could have an adverse effect upon the fragile economic recovery.

A spokesperson for the RCMP Employers Association, Vic Toews,1 stated the employers have already negotiated contracts with employees in Alberta and Saskatchewan and that employees in British Columbia will simply have to follow suit or the services of the RCMP will be withdrawn in British Columbia.

Toews stated: “They (AB and SK) find the (contract conditions) to be reasonable and now the other provinces will have to make the decision, whether they want to go with the RCMP as their provincial police or whether they want to do something else and that’s their choice.”

A spokesperson of the British Columbia Employees Association, Shirley Bond2, was taken aback by the statements, stating her group will not bow to the pressure tactics any federal employer group.  Bond stated negotiations have been ongoing for the past two years but the employers have been increasingly intransigent, particularly since signing contracts in Alberta and Saskatchewan. It appears to be another case of divide and conquer on the part of the RCMP Employers Association.

According to Bond, a key issue in British Columbia is gaining back control from the employers. Over the past contract period, the employers have simply been running the shop and the employees are no longer willing to sit back and accept that as the status quo.

Jasbir Sandhu3 a public service safety critic (in opposition), stated: “Is pulling police off the streets of British Columbia part of (the employers) tough-on-crime agenda?”  Other spokespersons with the employees stated that if the RCMP Employers Association in Ottawa follows through with their threat to pull police off the streets of British Columbian, the Employees will seriously consider moving back to a ‘made at BC, Police Service?

Many other employee groups across the country are now backing Bond, stating the federal employers have gained far to much control and, in addition, the ongoing political infighting and scandals that have wracked RCMP have emanated from the highest levels in Ottawa, and that is detracting from the high standards British Columbia desires to promote within the police service.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, it would not be surprising to see the majority Conservatives who run the Employers Association, might lock-out the RCMP in BC if they don’t sign off on a new contract within the next week or two.

Harold McNeill
harold@mcneillifestories.com

Adieu
RCMP Take a Ride

Shirley Bond and the BC Union of Municipalities served notice on the Ottawa based RCMP Employees Group that unless they return to the table for some ‘good faith’ bargaining, they will be sent packing. The RCMP could be out and a Provincial Force on its way in as early as the New Year.
Globe and Mail.

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email: Harold@mcneillifestories.com)

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.