The ongoing labour dispute between Federated Co-op Limited and Unifor #594 is a civil matter between employer and employees.
The Regina Police Service is responsible for community safety and, at this time, the city is not in jeopardy. The only site where there is an issue is at the Co-op Refinery Complex itself. There have been steps taken to ensure Emergency Vehicle access, in and out of the refinery, is guaranteed. The Regina Police Service has been active in this situation since day one and continues to ensure community safety needs are met.
The Regina Police Service respects the right of Unifor to peaceful, lawful and safe protest. At the same time, RPS respects the right of the company to operate its business. We are concerned about the ongoing illegal actions and the violation of the court order by members of both Unifor Local #594 and Unifor National and anyone else who participates in the blockade. These matters remain the subject of ongoing investigation.
As long as there are civil remedies available to resolve this situation, they must be fully explored by the involved parties. We believe that the Contempt of Court application scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6th, is the appropriate mechanism for ending the blockade. Members of the public need to remember: Police officers have duties and sworn obligations but they also have discretion in how public safety is achieved in daily operations. For the effective functioning of a democracy, police must be independent of elected officials.
Resolving this situation peacefully without having to use force is always the primary goal. There are ways to hold people accountable for their illegal actions without resorting to criminal law remedies that may escalate matters, resulting in violence.