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Should the RCMP Unionize? Share Your Views.

When it comes to labour law, the existence or non-existence of unions in a certain field can make all the difference.

With this in mind, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, our Federal police force, are bringing the debate as to whether or not the force should unionize to the internet.

In April 2009 Ontario’s Superior Court opened the door to RCMP unionization by striking down federal regulations that prevented RCMP members from forming a union. It also gave the government a deadline to change the law.

That deadline passed last October, but the government has introduced the RCMP Labour Relations Modernization Act, bill C-43, which is now slowly making its way through Parliament. The Mounties’ existing Staff Relations Representative Program (SRRP) is not pleased with the proposed law.

On a website launched this week, the Mounted Police Members Legal Fund alleges Bill C-43, “provides an expansion of the RCMP Commissioner’s powers with respect to human resource management and discipline with no corresponding check or balance.” The site also allows visitors to send a letter to their MP or send a colourful e-postcard with the heading “Stand With Us.”

There are many Mounties who would prefer to form an independent association (the SRRP is funded by the RCMP) and the Mounted Police Professional Association has been formed. On its new website, the group explains that it seeks to exercise “our right to engage in free collective bargaining with our employer” but does not seek or support the right to strike.