The FTQ Construction welcomes the decision of the Court of Quebec which has the effect of acquitting the participants of La Romaine’s demonstration, June 25, 2015. Indeed, Judge Paré was clear: the CCQ used abusive searches against peaceful demonstrators and has violated their rights and freedoms. In doing so, he ordered the exclusion of the evidence collected by the CCQ.
Indeed, Act R-20, which governs construction matters, confers investigative powers to the CCQ. This does not relieve its investigators from respecting the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As a result, the CCQ demonstrated an abuse of power when it raided Hydro Quebec and the SAAQ without a warrant to obtain information on the demonstrators. “This finding is disturbing and we are worried. The CCQ is a public body, that does not mean that its representatives are above the law, “says Rénald Grondin, President of FTQ Construction.
The freedom of demonstration is enforced
This judgment reiterates the importance of fundamental freedoms, namely the right to peaceful assembly and privacy. We sincerely believe that it is important to ensure that workers can continue to express themselves freely, without fear of an illegal investigation by the CCQ.
The demonstrators of June 25, 2015 requested a better access to employment for Côte Nord workforce on La Romaine. FTQ Construction is continuing its action to ensure the hiring of local labor.
Behavior of the CCQ
The judgment highlights the lack of neutrality of the CCQ in its investigations when they involve workers or union representatives. “The CCQ goes beyond its mandate and violates rights and freedoms. It is doing a witch hunt for those who defend workers’ rights, “says Éric Boisjoly, General Manager of FTQ Construction. “It is time for the CCQ to let the union representatives do their work and focus on its mandate to ensure the application of collective agreements.”