Date: March 26, 2018
To: Grands Chiefs, Chefs of the AFNQL
Ad Hoc Committee of First Nations Chiefs of Police
From: Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL
Re: Important Update – Public Security
I am forwarding this brief update on the Public Security file and more specifically, on policing services for the signatories of tripartite agreements.
You will recall that as part of the conclusions of the March 12th meeting convened by AFNQL, it was recommended to denounce the dishonest tactics by Canada and Quebec who claimed good faith negotiations with your representatives for the renewal of the agreements expiring in less than a week.
We took advantage of the opportunity offered by the Viens Commission to participate in the hearings held in Montreal on March 22nd, to report what we consider to be the bad faith on the part of the government parties. Our message was heard as the Commissioner issued the following day a call for clear action that our police services should be recognized as an essential service, that agreements be extended by one year with the necessary financial upgrade and that governments engage in good faith negotiations, considering the real needs of our communities.
Both Canada and Quebec reacted the very next day after our hearing before the Viens Commission. We consulted with the members of the Ad Hoc Committee on March 23rd and we called both Ministers Coiteux and Goodale cabinets to inquire about their positions. They both confirmed being ready to act on Judge Viens’ recommendation. However, I did note some resistance from the Quebec government. The following represents the elements on which there would be an agreement to continue the discussions with the government parties.
- Contrary to what the letters sent last week to most agreements holders, Quebec has indicated that the true deadline to obtain a written confirmation is March 31 rather than March 23. (This information has been shared with your Chiefs of Police);
- The implementation of the 6.10.2 Clause which allows for the renewal of tripartite agreements;
- Contrary to the correspondence sent to the communities, the renewal would take into account the most recent variable offers that were presented to you;
- We asked both cabinets that governments confirm their commitment in writing to all the signatories to the tripartite agreements. This communication will also have to confirm that they agree on a process that allows for discussions that can lead to longer-term agreements.
We will have to pay attention to the provincial budget which will be presented next March 27.
Obviously, the work must continue to ensure the renewal of the agreements to the satisfaction of the communities. We have seen proof over the last few weeks that we need to remain vigilant, but above all, we proved that governments’ parties have acted in bad faith.
Do not hesitate to give me a call for any additional information.
In closing, I must thank those who helped in presenting a convincing case before the Viens Commission. The testimonies were determining.