Royal canadian mounted police

AuthorChristopher Rootham
 
Members or special constables of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP),
or a person employed under terms and conditions substantially the same as
members, are excluded from the de nition of “employee” under the PSLRA.
While civi lian employees of the RCMP are appointed pursuant to the Public Ser-
vice Employment Act and are consequent ly entitled to join employee organiza-
tions and are otherw ise protected by the rights contained in the PSLR A, RCMP
members do not have those same protections. Section  of the PLSRA eectively
prohibits RCMP members from joining trade unions and being represented by
trade unions in collect ive bargaining.
e policy of the federal government wa s originally to prohibit the un ioniza-
tion of RCMP members. Between  and , members of the Royal North-
west Mounted Police and subsequently of the RCMP were expressly prohibited by
Order in Council from any union-related activity, on pain of instant dismissal.
e Order in Council stated:
No member of the Royal Nort hwest Mounted Police or of the Dominion Pol ice,
whether ocer, non-commi ssioned ocer or man, shall b ecome a member of
or be in any wise a ssociated with a ny Trades Union Organization or a ny Society
or be Association connected or aliated therewith; or with any union, Society
or Association of employers or a ny Society or Association connec ted or ali-
ated therewit h; or with any Union, Society or Asso ciation having for its object
Public Serv ice Labour Relations Act , S.C. , c. , s. ; s. ()(d) “employee” [PSLRA].
Public Service Employment Act, S.C. , c . , ss.  & ; Royal Canadi an Mounted
Police Act, R.S .C. , c. R-, s.  [RCMP Act].
 e discus sion of this pol icy is taken largely frome discussion of t his policy is taken l argely from Delisle v. Cana da (Deputy Attorney
General), []  S.C.R.  at paras. – [Delisle].
464           
the rights or i nterest of employees or of labour, or of employers or of capital in
competition wit h each other; and any contravention of t his regulation sha ll be
cause for insta nt dismissal.
e policy underlying t his Order in Council of  was founded upon the
fear that t he organizat ion of RCMP members into an employee organization
would result in members experiencing a “divided loyalty” or conict of interest
between their allegiance to their fellow workers and t heir required obedience
to their superiors’ orders. It was feared that, if RCMP members began to organ-
ize into employee associations i n order to promote their interests as employees,
members would experience a div ided allegiance. RCMP members might be un-
able or unwilling to obey commands if they felt that obedience would be incon-
sistent with allegiance to the cause of their fel low employees. is concern was
particularly pronounced in relation to the role of the RCMP in quelling labour
unrest. e federal govern ment felt that RCMP members might refuse to obey
the command to subdue labour upri sings, or to ll in for a stri king local police
force, if their allegiance to their fellow employees came i nto conict with such
a command. Hence the government sought to attack the perceived problem at
its source, by prohibiting even informal employment-related associations. e
federal government expressed these particular concerns in the preamble to the
Order in Council, which stated :
WHEREA S attention has been ca lled to the public impor tance of excluding
the members of the reg ular police forces of t he country from members hip or
association w ith Trade Union Organization s or aliated Socie ties or unions
or societies of employers or employee s constituted for the purpose or w ith the
object of regulat ing relations of employers and employees or as bet ween capital
and labour;
AND WHER EAS unfortu nately occasions ari se when it is necessar y to
invoke the aid of the p olice for the maintena nce of order in connection w ith
strikes , lock-outs or labour disturba nces;
AND WHER EAS it is considered that the publ ic might in a measure be de-
prived of the ser vice which it is entitle d to expect from the pol ice or that the
quality of t hat service might be prejudici ally aected, if t he police were in any
manner permit ted to identify them selves with one side or the other of a c ontro-
versy resulti ng in breach of the peace;
In , the federal government conrmed t his rule prohibiting RCMP mem-
bers from membership in a trade u nion in certain Regulat ions which read:
 P.C. -.P.C .  -  .

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