Fredericton- Union presidents from across the province will gather in here Friday as pressure mounts against a government plan to give itself the power to impose RCMP policing on municipalities.
“This law can force, on any New Brunswick community, a police force that is run and staffed out of Ottawa,” says Susan Barton, president of the New Brunswick Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees,”and that’s where we’ll have to look for police accountability - to a federal superintendent hundreds of miles away.”
Barton says the presidents, representing 20,000 members, feel threatened enough by Bill 3 that they’ll be in Fredericton to plan strategy and put pressure on their own MLA’s to block the legislation, which is currently stalled in the House by the Conservatives and NDP.
“This legislation is a dictatorial power grap that robs our communities of the right to choose and run their own police forces..and that’s a pretty basic right for a municipality.”
The Solicitor General’s Spring announcement that the mounties would be unilaterally imposed on the City of Moncton drew opposition from the local council and a reported 90% of citizens. CUPE and the N.B. Police Association are fighting the measure through the courts.
“We think it’s the most undemocratic law in Canada,” said Barton,”it rips up collective agreements, incurs costs for municipalities over which they have no control, over-rides community wishes on a very sensitive issue and eats away at the kind of democracy we want in New Brunswick.”
For further information:Susan Barton (506) 339-6443 Bob Davidson(506) 458-8059