News Release Article from  Government of Canada

Government of Canada to introduce RCMP Labour Relations Bill

December, 7, 2015 – Ottawa – Treasury Board Secretariat

Today, the Government of Canada announced that it intends to introduce legislation in the House of Commons to create a new labour relations regime for members and reservists of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The legislation will be introduced no later than the end of February 2016.

The proposed legislation would address the Supreme Court of Canada decision on the Mounted Police Association of Ontario (MPAO) v. Attorney General of Canada case, which found key parts of the current RCMP labour relations regime to be unconstitutional.

RCMP members and reservists would be free to choose whether they wish to be represented by a bargaining agent that is independent from RCMP management.

The proposed legislation would include the following elements:

  • independent, binding arbitration as the dispute resolution process for bargaining impasses, with no right to strike;
  • a single, national RCMP member and reservist bargaining unit;
  • the requirement that the RCMP bargaining agent have as its primary mandate the representation of RCMP members;
  • the exclusion of commissioned officers from representation, and a process for the exclusion of other managerial positions from representation; and
  • designation of the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board as the administrative tribunal for matters related to RCMP member collective bargaining, as well as grievances related to a collective agreement.

The proposed legislation would preserve the Commissioner’s authority under the RCMP Act to manage police operations in an effective manner that is accountable to Canadians. Accordingly, the proposed legislation would restrict certain matters from being included in a collective agreement or an arbitral award, such as the duties and responsibilities and the deployment of RCMP members; the RCMP Code of Conduct and conduct management systems; RCMP uniforms, medals, and order of dress; and law enforcement techniques.

The Government of Canada consulted with regular members on potential elements of a labour relations regime during the summer of 2015. These consultations took place online and through a series of town hall sessions. The Government also consulted with provinces, territories, and municipalities that have RCMP Police Service Agreements. The results of the consultations are being considered in the development of the proposed legislation.

Quotes

"As the Minister responsible for the RCMP, I am pleased to announce that the Government will soon be introducing a Bill to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada’s January 2015 decision on the MPAO case. If passed, this Bill would ensure that RCMP regular members and reservists can exercise their Charter-protected right to engage in collective bargaining by providing a labour relations framework that both respects the Supreme Court’s decision and reflects the operational policing environment of RCMP officers."

Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

"Engaging in collective bargaining is a Charter-protected right long since exercised by all other police forces in Canada. This Bill would respect that right while recognizing the particular circumstances of the RCMP as a national police force. I would like to thank everyone who participated in this summer’s consultations and assure them that their views are being taken into consideration in the drafting of this Bill."

Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board

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Scott Bardsley
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Hon. Scott Brison Hon. Ralph Goodale Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Public Safety Canada Labour

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