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 One ticket was withdrawn for a technical reason and the second is still under review by the judge.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

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Qualicum man sentenced for tying up, robbing another man

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in 2017

Parksville man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says city official

Parksville roundtable highlights need for affordable housing, recreation

Mayor Ed Mayne held facilitated event in January to hear visions for city, council

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read