According to NAPE President Carol Furlong, government announced a reallocation of conservation officers between two departments, Justice and Natural Resources. Minister Skinner announced this weekend that officers with Natural Resources will no longer carry side arms. Furlong said this decision was made unilaterally without effective consultation with the Union and without input from the front line employees.

Furlong stated “a previous government agreed it was necessary for conservation officers to be armed to ensure their safety and the safety of the general public. The latest decision will see a significant number of officers out in the country with no means to ensure their personal safety”.

“It is beyond belief that the decision by government which has the potential to put lives at risk is made without consultation with the Union or front line employees”, said Furlong. “The Union was notified on budget day of the changes and we understood the decision would be put on hold until we had an opportunity for input. We were surprised that over the weekend the Minister of Natural Resources issued a press release saying this is a done deal. Safety of employees is too important to be buried in some obscure press release on the Easter weekend holiday”, said Furlong. Ms. Furlong indicated NAPE will be attempting to arrange meetings with government to review the new methods of operation. “Grievances will be filed and we will also review employees’ rights under the Occupational Health and Safety regulations”, Furlong stated.

Contact information:
Carol Furlong 570-2471