Ottawa, ON — Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, urging the Government of Québec to prioritize access to COVID-19 vaccinations for RCMP Members in Québec:
“The National Police Federation fully supports Québec’s effort to roll out vaccines in a safe and appropriate manner—including prioritizing seniors, remote communities and our colleagues in health and social services—but just over 900 RCMP Members who work in Québec must also be included for priority access in Phase 2. This would be consistent with guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and the only way to ensure the safety of our Members and the communities they serve.
In early January, we wrote to the federal government and all provincial premiers and their ministers of justice and health, respectively, seeking prioritization for RCMP Members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Only some provinces have made progress, leaving Members in other provinces to self-isolate or seek treatment for the symptoms of infection.
In mid-February, three Quebec-based police associations – the Association des policières et policiers du Québec (APPQ), the Fédération des policiers et policières municipaux du Québec (FPMQ) and the Fraternité des policiers et policières de Montreal (FPPM) – jointly called on Québec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault to prioritize vaccination of their members from across the province. Regrettably, there has not yet been movement on this, and so we are taking this opportunity to make our ask on behalf of our Members and to remind the Government of Québec of the earlier ask for all police officers in Québec to be prioritized.
Due to the nature of our Members’ work in Québec, such as ongoing border integrity and the recent uncovering of a major illegal gun smuggling operation, our Members often do not have the opportunity to ensure appropriate physical distancing when they interact with the public. In practical terms, this means they are often at a significantly higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and exposing others including their community and family.
Without priority access to a vaccine, our Members will continue to be exposed and possibly infected by the virus, requiring them to quarantine and isolate. This reduces staffing levels, increases stress levels and has a marked impact on the ability to sustain community safety, including the prevention of community transmission of COVID-19.
A virus doesn’t recognize borders, so it is important that we have a consistent standard for law enforcement and all front-line workers across the country.
Simply put: protecting our Members helps protect all Quebecers.”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
National Police Federation
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations