Thursday, October 28th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEDS FOR FREEDOM
RESPONSE TO: Riccardo Filippone, Executive Director of PSAC (Public Service Alliance of Canada):
On October 22, 2021 at 1:56 PM EDT, Riccardo wrote an internal email1 to warn PSAC staff of a peaceful protest that had been organized at PSAC National Headquarters in Ottawa for Monday, October 25th, 2021 by its own members; an email that included several defamatory and false claims.
This protest was organized as a result of PSAC’s lack of response to a group letter2 sent to the union’s president, Chris Aylward, on October 18th, 2021. In this letter, representatives of Feds For Freedom requested a meeting with the union to discuss what actions, if any, were being planned to help members with respect to the Treasury Board policy on vaccination, that was hastily enacted3 by the government on October 6, 2021.
Through the inaction taken since the mandates were announced, PSAC has sided with the employer and not with its own members who have expressed concerns with respect to a multitude of issues, including privacy and medical autonomy.
In his emailed warning to PSAC’s staff, Riccardo defamed Feds For Freedom, stating that the “…’information’ being circulated by this group is patently false.” He further stated that “…the group includes individuals who also espouse racist, sexist, anti-semitic and homophobic messages”. These accusations were not supported with proof. They are baseless, uninformed, and show that PSAC is fighting against its own members and spouting off rhetoric, instead of responding to the issues brought in a group letter2 sent and signed by more than 1000 of their own members.
Feds For Freedom is as diverse and multicultural as the public service itself, and does not support, condone, or have ever supported any type of such comments on any of its platforms. This sort of dishonesty and slander is dissappointing to see from our own union representatives. We are appalled at this blatant attempt to discredit thousands of due-paying members of the PSAC union – who hold valid and legitimate concerns about their privacy and rights arising from these policies – as some sort of alt-right, white nationalist movement.
There is absolutely no evidence of any of these claims and they are clearly defamatory. Feds For Freedom is a support group created by members, for members, of the federal public service that are having their livelihoods threatened by the government’s vaccination policy. Feds For Freedom offers peer support and information to these members, as in many cases they have not received such support or meaningful guidance from their own union.
Members of Feds For Freedom, representing thousands of public servants nation-wide, sat peacefully outside of PSAC’s National Headquarters at 233 Gilmour Street for 3 days, from October 25th – October 27th. During this time, PSAC did not allow card carrying members to step foot inside the union hall. Deliveries were re-routed, and when a member did manage to enter the premises, they were told “You are not allowed to be inside the building.” This was communicated to us even though there was staff inside that could have answered the concerns of their members or have delivered a message about our meeting request. Email and telephone follow-ups were met with no response. On the third day the union went so far as to block the tinted front doors, so we were not even allowed to see inside of our own union hall.
As of the time of this communication, Feds For Freedom has yet to receive a response from the union. We demand Riccardo Filippone retract his slanderous allegations and publicly issue an apology, as we continue to implore PSAC to reconsider its position and to grant the representatives of Feds For Freedom the meeting we have requested.
Contact@fedsforfreedom.ca For Comment.
1. Email from Riccardo Filippone, Executive Director of PSAC to building occupants of 233 Gilmour Street.
2. Letter sent from Feds For Freedom, on October 18th 2021 to PSAC President Chris Aylward with over 1000 signatures of support.