Blind Eye to Justice

April 11, 2020

The role of the Regina Police Service (RPS) during the lockout has been hotly contested by both the Co-op Refinery and the Union, with both sides accusing the Police of favouring the interests of the other. Now that the lockout has stretched into its fifth month, the evidence strongly suggests the Union is the only party in the cross-hairs of the law.

The dispute was not very old when it became very apparent that the police were not there to protect the right of picketers to peacefully assemble and protest but to protect the interests of the Co-op Refinery.

There have been many incidents of unnecessary police intervention and involvement during the labour dispute:

  • aggressive police tactics on January 20th that led to the arrest of thirteen union activists
  • the issuance of hundreds of parking tickets to safety vehicles
  • lackluster investigations into truckers who swerved at picketers and the spiking of picketer’s vehicles
  • the constant intimidation and surveillance of peaceful picket lines
  • middle of the night arrests of four peaceful picketers on February 5th
  • acting as private security when they closed down 9th Ave North to the public and only allowed refinery vehicles past their checkpoint
January 20th, 2020 Police Standoff
Police ticketing vehicles

The Union submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request with the RPS looking for insight and any documents that would help the Union understand the reasoning and justification for these actions, but unfortunately, the RPS has delayed the release of that information.

Dashcam video from some of the picketing locations has proven useful in showing just how disinterested the RPS were in the safety of picketers.

As you will see in the video below, not only did the RPS allow a semi to blow through a stop sign at a high rate of speed at a busy intersection, but they also didn’t even flinch when that same semi almost backs into the police vehicle. While the view of the dash camera is obstructed, that same semi then proceeds to crash through a picket line and pin a picketer into a fence.

The RPS did begrudgingly return to the scene to get statements afterwards. To this day there has been no follow up whatsoever. The picketer who was hit has since recovered from the incident, but has not heard if justice will ever be served in his case.

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