The Toronto-area lawyer, who specializes in animal welfare law and criminal defense, has made public an offer to every single RCMP member out there.
“Sometimes you have to use the law creatively to protect animals, because they don’t have any legal rights,” Labchuk told APFA in a yet-to-be-aired Defender Radio interview. “The offer I’ve put out there is an example of that. I’m happy to represent any RCMP officer who doesn’t wanted to be forced to wear fur by Leona Aglukkaq and the Conservative government.”
We’ve heard from numerous officers through social media comments, news site commentary and in personal correspondence. Many of them don’t like the fur hat – it’s large, can impair vision and a lot of them would prefer a simple toque. So is there an argument to be had?
“The government can’t force [officers] to wear fur,” Labchuk explained. “There’s been a few cases that cite it’s a charter protected right to have beliefs about animals.”
In one landmark case, a vegetarian inmate sued the government successfully after he was told he had to eat meat.
“The court said, ‘hey government, you have to respect people’s beliefs in this regards,’” noted Labchuk. “The argument is that a Mountie who doesn’t want to wear fur can’t be forced to wear fur by the government. They have the legal right [to be fur-free] and I’m happy to help them enforce that right.”
Any member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who is interested in getting legal protection from this Conservative government agenda can contact Camille Labchuk at firstname.lastname@example.org.