The Bomb

Updated May 20, 2020

It has come to light that on the same day that the Mayor Michael Fougere received the terrifying letter threatening to bomb picketers, a copy was also sent to the Minister of Justice/Attorney General Don Morgan.  

It is extremely concerning that Saskatchewan’s top justice official neglected to disclose a serious threat to picketer and public safety to the union. Unifor officials Scott Doherty and Kevin Bittman were in close communication with Don Morgan at that time, as he is also the Minister of Labour Relations. Minister Morgan did not warn or inform the union at any time of the threats. It is another example of an elected official failing in their duty to ensure public safety and taking sides in the labour dispute. The injustices and bias that union members and their supporters have faced throughout this lockout is unprecedented. 

The group of people that need to be held accountable for their actions, or in this case inaction, continues to grow. The only logical next step for the Government of Saskatchewan to take is to legislate an end to this lockout before someone is seriously hurt. 

May 17, 2020

Buried in a mountain of documents, we have unearthed a very alarming letter that shows there were credible threats made against Unifor 594 members. The letter frighteningly details a plan to blow up picket lines. It also implied having a list of union member’s home addresses with the threat of personal harm to said picketers. This shocking letter was among the over 900 pages included in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request acquired by Unifor 594 from the Regina Police Service.

Even though several members can attest to being threatened and verbally or physically abused on the picket lines, they had no idea the harm that was being plotted against them from Co-op supporters.

This disturbing undated letter was sent to the Regina Police and the RCMP initially. It was eventually forwarded to the Mayor of Regina on February 18, 2020.

The most horrifying reality is that these threats were never conveyed to members of the local union. These credible threats were never once passed along by the Police who initially received it. The threat laden letter was also forwarded to the office of the Mayor. As an elected official, the Mayor has a sworn duty to inform members of the public, including locked out union members, of dangers to their health and safety. He completely neglected that duty. Let that sink in for a moment.

The officials who are charged with the safety of the citizens of Regina chose not to pass along information that people were in danger. They willfully ignored that people could be blown up. They didn’t inform anyone to take extra precautions as they may have had their address disclosed to people who seemed intent on causing harm.

With the threatening letter in his possession, Mayor Fougere still willingly voted against supporting the motion before City Council to call for binding arbitration. All while knowing full well the implications and underlying issues of prolonging the labour dispute.

The above letter is not an isolated threat of violence against picketers or their supporters. Several social media posts, comments and direct messages, on both Twitter and Facebook, outline a variety of threats of physical violence towards union members. Since the lockout began the union office has also received dozens of venomous and menacing phone calls from Co-op supporters. On many occasions these incidents were reported to the police. To our knowledge there has been no follow up or investigation of any kind.

The FOI does not include any mention of information about any of the threats being passed on to the Police’s patrolling officers for increased vigilance. There is no information that shows the Police took any steps whatsoever to protect picketers from harm. All the FOI revealed is a complete lack of responsibility and ethics from both Chief Evan Bray and Mayor Michael Fougere.

Not only was the union not warned of the threats to the safety of the members, Chief Bray went as far as to label picketers are “borderline terrorists“. It’s a disgraceful characterization when you consider that terrorism is more closely associated with the egregious acts outlined in the letter.

The question that needs to be answered: will the Regina Police, or the Office of the Mayor, be held accountable for a lackadaisical response to the credible threats to those walking the picket line?

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