Mounted Police Professional Association Launches National Awareness Campaign to Push Through Bill C-7

SURREY, BC, June 23, 2016 /CNW/ - The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC) is commending the Senate of Canada for unanimously passing Bill C-7 with amendments, and is launching a National Awareness Campaign to communicate why Members of Parliament should unanimously pass Bill C-7 in its current form into law this fall.

"The Senate had an open and rigorous debate about this bill and voted to give RCMP members the collective bargaining process they deserve. Now the ball's back in the House of Common's court to have it enacted into law," said MPPAC President Rae Banwarie. "The next few months will be vital to communicate to Canadians why the only way forward for the RCMP is what the Senate has laid out for us."

The Senate passed Bill C-7 this week with amendments, most notably deleting an extensive list of items that would have been exempt from collective bargaining including key labour issues such as, equipment, resourcing and harassment matters.  MPPAC worked with members for months to have these exemptions deleted. MPPAC's strategy included a letter writing campaign addressed to Senators, organizing meetings with MPs and Senators, holding a Parliament Hill rally, and delivering members testimonials at Committee hearings.

Banwarie added: "I commend all RCMP members and Senators who put in endless hours to get this legislation right, but until this Bill becomes law our Force will remain underrepresented in vital matters that affect job performance, work culture, and the public's safety."

Earlier this month, MPPAC raised concerns about RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson's testimony at a Senate National Security committee hearing. Commissioner Paulson suggested that key labour matters should be exempted from the collective bargaining process. 

"Commissioner Paulson got it wrong. Fortunately, our Senators got it right. They understand that an unrestricted collective bargaining process will give Canadians what they have waited decades for - a healthier, more modern and vibrant RCMP" said MPPAC spokesperson Rob Creasser. "It has been a year and half since the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in our favour, and it has been more than a decade since members have pushed for their labour rights. It's time to get this right."

MPPAC is a national, non-profit police association which is completely independent of management. MPPAC represents regular and civilian members of the RCMP in every region of the country. MPPAC is working to become the certified bargaining agent for all non-commissioned and civilian members, and has been involved in the RCMP association movement since 1994. 

Of the 227 police agencies in Canada, 226 already have collective bargaining rights – the only exception has been the RCMP. The majority decision from the Supreme Court of Canada (January 2015) gave all non-commissioned RCMP regular and civilian members the right to independent representation. MPPAC does not seek nor support the right to strike. 

SOURCE Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC)

For further information: Rob Creasser, Media Relations, Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, Association Canadienne de la Police Montee Professionnelle,T: (250) 371-1071, E: national@mppac.ca; Terry McKee, Media Relations, Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, Association Canadienne de la Police Montee Professionnelle, T: (506) 850-3907, E: national@mppac.ca

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