The emergency injunction against the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) was extended on Monday for another ten days. It now expires on October 13, the date of the next conciliation meeting between MUNACA and McGill.
The extension upholds the orders of the initial injunction granted on September 23 by the Quebec Superior Court. The injunction requires restrictions on picketers’ proximity to campus, group size, and noise level.
Vice Principal (Administration and Finance) Michael DiGrappa spoke to The Daily about Monday’s extension.
“My understanding is that both parties appeared – the union didn’t object to the injunction being renewed, so it was extended for a period of ten days,” he said.
Kevin Whittaker, president of MUNACA, explained why the union did not object to the injunction’s extension.
“If we object then we have to go to court and it becomes this long drawn-out thing, and it wasn’t worthwhile,” he explained. “We’re waiting until the next decision, which will be on the 13th, and that’s when we’ll be able to act.”
“Right now we know how to deal with the injunction and the limits that it’s imposed, and we’re willing to go through the next ten days with that, but at the closure of the ten days we will be reacting to any further action that McGill may be proposing.”
“It was noted that we did not agree to the extension – that was it,” Whittaker added. For him, Monday’s extension was “fully expected.”
“We had been planning for something like this. As we said last week, we changed our strategy. We were picketing at some of the Board of Governors’ businesses, and we will continue to do different sites throughout this week,” he said.
On Monday, MUNACA workers picketed outside of the workplaces of four members of McGill’s Board of Governors: Stuart Cobbett, Kathy Fazel, Martine Turcotte and Thierry Vandal.
The extension of the injunction was presided over by Superior Court judge Clément Trudell. Brian Riordan, a former McGill Fellow and a graduate of the University, judged the initial granting of the injunction.
Whittaker noted the change in judges; however, he told The Daily that Riordan’s ties to McGill did not affect the outcome of the judgment on September 23.
“The judgment was not unusual, that he [Riordan] gave us, so to say that it was favouritism is not an issue for us. We’re not thinking that at all,” he said.
“But it’s just a matter of, legally, are there any grounds or recourses that we can take because of that information, and we haven’t got a clear answer yet.”
Whittaker said that he is waiting on a report from MUNACA’s legal team, which is currently “mulling over” the viability of a conflict of interest case against Riordan.