(Three Rivers) Unless an unexpected turn that would have occurred during the night, the 450 prosecutors in Quebec, whose score of prosecutors in the region, will be an indefinite general strike starting this morning. That at least is the scenario that seemed to draw yesterday afternoon at the Courthouse of Trois-Rivieres.
Yesterday, news came from the negotiations with Quebec were totally disrupted, other sources indicated the contrary that discussions were continuing.
But on the other side where the strike seemed inevitable, according to Mr. Benoit Larouche, regional representative for the Association of Prosecutors in criminal prosecutions and criminal penalties.
"The gap is so wide between what they offer and what we are asking that even if talks were to continue all night, I do not see how you could come to avoid a strike. They give us no choice, "said Mr. Larouche.
Moreover, Christian Leblanc, president of the Association of Prosecutors in Criminal and Penal Prosecutions of Quebec, has contacted the Treasury Board, yesterday morning, "to tell them that the last offer that was made to us was quite unacceptable ".
Prosecutors ask such a catch-up to fill the gap of almost 40% between their salary and the average of other provinces. It also lacks 200 prosecutors in Quebec to meet the Canadian average.
The Conseil du trésor, Michelle Courchesne, recognized the need to improve working conditions of attorneys was excessive but the catch-up required 40%.
Given the affordability of Quebecers and fairness for all state employees, the government will not extend such an increase in compensation, the minister warned.
In Canada, "we are the most overworked and under paid. We have the highest rate of sick leave related directly to work, "raised Christian Leblanc. Its members call for a salary in the average Canadian.
Thus, from 8 am 30 this morning, prosecutors from the region are expected to picket in front of the Courthouse of Trois-Rivieres. It was agreed that the picketing is done symbolically in Trois-Rivieres for all attorneys to join forces.
The strike will effectively postpone more than one hundred cases per day, said Mr. Larouche. Essential services will continue, particularly as regards the appearances of prisoners, criminal trials by jury and the issues that require action within a period prescribed by the court.
As for defense counsel, it was difficult for them to comment on the situation. The regional representative of the Quebec Association of Lawyers for the defense, Michel Lebrun, said he understands the demands of brothers and sisters, but also believes that defense lawyers will try to be as neutral as possible within the meaning of the court.
For clients whose cases could be postponed, Mr. Lebrun believes that every lawyer will have to go day by day, case by case, depending on how negotiations between both parties.