Incident during Qualicum Beach labour dispute ends up in court

Judge reserved his decision; union member fighting ticket

An incident during last summer’s labour dispute in Qualicum Beach ended up in court Monday.

“This isn’t a big deal to us, but it seems very important to the employer,” said CUPE Local 401 President Blaine Gurrie after the court appearance. “It was surprising to see the mayor and the city manager show up for a jaywalking ticket hearing — that seems odd.”

Two CUPE Local 401 members received tickets while picketing at the regional district transfer station on Church Road during the five-week lockout. One ticket was withdrawn for a technical reason and the second is still under review by the judge.

“Last year, during the labour dispute, our trucks were prevented from going through, into the transfer station,” said Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek of the incident caught by a dash cam and reported in The NEWS at the time.

“The RCMP attended but everyone scattered, so there was no evidence at the time, but they saw your story and then came and saw the video,” Westbroek said.

“It was obvious that (the picketers’) claim that they never interfered was not true,” claimed Westbroek.

The tickets were issued by the RCMP the day after the incident.

The mayor said he attended court as an interested citizen and he said the town’s Chief Administrative Officer, Daniel Sailland, and the truck driver were there as witnesses called by the RCMP.

The tickets were for failing to yield to a vehicle when not in a crosswalk under Sect. 180 of the Motor Vehicle Act, said Cpl. Jesse Foreman, explaining there is no such thing as a jaywalking charge in Canada.

Union rep Gurrie said “we think the employer was being punitive… so that’s when we decided we have no choice but to challenge this. One of the stipulations in the agreement is usually that there will be no discipline met out for conduct during the dispute.”

“We didn’t think (the picketers’) had done anything wrong, but they wound up getting jaywalking tickets for picketing outside of the regional district’s transfer station,” he said. “Our belief is they were on private property, not the highway, so there’s no jaywalking involved whatsoever. We think they were well within their rights to do secondary picketing there — that’s part of the labour code.”

He also said it was odd that the RCMP issued the tickets the next day, but not at the time. He said it was the choice of the individual members to dispute the tickets and that “people are allowed to challenge any infractions they get.”

Despite the court appearance, Gurrie said the relationship between the union and employer “is improving. It’s gonna take a long time to get the labour relations back on track. It always does after a dispute, but both sides are working towards that.”

Just Posted

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

Flock of spinners holding fleece and fibre fair in Coombs

Annual event raises money for Bradley Centre, supports local producers and vendors

BC Ferries CEO, president speaks to Parksville and Qualicum Beach chambers

Guest asks about Vancouver Island resident discount fares

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

Construction crane tips over at Nanaimo work site

Incident happened Wednesday morning at Turner Road and Uplands Drive

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

B.C. Transit shows off NextRide bus technology

New technology allows for real-time tracking, to be rolled out through early 2019

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

RCMP caution boaters after two kids pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning

Both children were given oxygen and taken to hospital

B.C. invests $115M to create 200 new nurse practitioner jobs

Health Minister says 780,000 B.C. residents don’t have a family doctor

Most Read