Legal action against the RCMP for violating the Canada Labour Code over the tragic 2014 Mountie shootings in Moncton was adjourned again on Thursday.

The Thursday morning court proceedings only took a few minutes as the defence asked Judge Joseph Michaud for another adjournment.

"We're just agents for other counsel. We were instructed to request an adjournment," said Scott McCrossin.

McCrossin is acting as an agent for Ottawa lawyer Norman Boxall. 

The Crown also had acting counsel in court.

Crown prosecutor Nicole Angers was in court on behalf of Halifax lawyer Paul Adams. 

"[The] adjournment [was] requested by the defence. And the Crown consented," said Angers. 

"So the matter has been put off until Nov. 19."

Both Angers and McCrossin said they cannot talk about the reasons for the delay. 

"We're both agents for other people," said Angers. 

Employment and Social Development Canada, which is responsible for investigating the death of any federal government employee who dies on the job, laid four charges against the national police force in May.

The RCMP's last court appearance on this matter was on July 9.

At that time, defence lawyer Scott McCrossin, acting as agent for Ottawa lawyer Norman Boxall, requested more time to review documents. 

4 violations alleged

The federal department conducted a review of the shootings that killed constables Douglas Larche, Dave Ross and Fabrice Gevaudan and injured constables Éric Dubois and Marie Darlene Goguen.

The federal department alleges the police force was in violation of the Canada Labour Code on four counts.

  • Failing to provide RCMP members with appropriate use of force equipment and related user training when responding to an active threat or active shooter event.
  • Failing to provide RCMP members with appropriate information, instruction and/or training to ensure their health and safety when responding to an active threat or active shooter event in an open environment.
  • Failing to provide RCMP supervisory personnel with appropriate information, instruction and/or training to ensure the health and safety of RCMP members when responding to an active threat or active shooter event in an open environment.
  • Failing to ensure the health and safety at work of every person employed by it, namely: RCMP members, was protected.

'Extremely sad'

Rob Creasser, the media liaison with the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, which includes regular RCMP and civilian members, said the Moncton shootings are "extremely sad given the backdrop of Mayerthorpe."

Moncton shooting

Employment and Social Development Canada alleges the RCMP violated the Canada Labour Code on four courts over the Moncton shootings. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Four Mounties were killed in Mayerthorpe, Alta., in the line of duty on March 2, 2005.

"And nobody's been able to adequately address why countless recommendations in terms of better training, better equipment, adequate manpower haven't been addressed," he said.

Consables Brock Myrol, Anthony Gordon, Leo Johnston and Peter Schiemann were all shot and killed by James Roszko while investigating a marijuana grow operation and chop shop just outside the town.

Given that Mayerthope took place 10 years ago, Creasser said he is skeptical the RCMP will significantly improve how it trains and equips its officers now.

"I think now, especially in the RCMP, you're seeing the tragic result when budgets get cut," said Creasser.

Each of the four charge comes with a maximum fine of $1 million.

"Taxpayers get to pay for the fines that are levied as a result of these labour code charges. The Canadian public deserves better," said Creasser.

"They deserve better from the government and they certainly deserve better from the senior management of the RCMP."  

The RCMP declined to comment while the case is before the court.​