Quebec city politicians are questioning the Montreal police force's decision not to crack down on a union protest held in front of city hall yesterday, where some participants set fire to garbage in the middle of the street and sprayed the city hall with water.
The Montreal police brotherhood and Montreal firefighters were part of the demonstration against a provincial bill that deals with their pension plans.
"If me or you set a fire in the middle of the street, I think we would have gotten a fine, if not handcuffs to spend the night in prison" says CAQ MNA François Bonnardel.
"Are there two types of police in Quebec? Police to arrest students, and police who don't arrest police officers?"
Bonnerdel is referring to the multiple arrests that took place during the student crisis. Other protestors have since been arrested under city bylaw P-6 for failing to disclose the trajectory of their marches.
Premier Philippe Couillard says the message should be clear that there is no double standard when it comes to the law.
"It's not acceptable for anyone to go against the law, endanger people's security and violate property. Even the perception of a double standard can not work."
The public security minister, Lise Thériault, says she can not comment because she expects complaints to be launched with the police ethics board.
All the while, the municipal affairs minister Pierre Moreau says he will not back down on his bill.
The protest was non-violent and caused no lasting damage, argues Marc Ranger, the spokesperson for the coalition of unions fighting the bill.
"The city of Montreal was not on fire and I think they have to calm down their reaction. People have the right to these demonstrations."
He says unions are acting to better control their members' actions, but the government is partially responsible, he says, because the pension bill so infuriated members.
His words are a strange echo to those of the municipal affairs minister who says union leaders fed that fury with their hard position on the bill.
"When you have a very harsh position in your language, in the way you conduct yourself, it only leads to such behaviour," says Pierre Moreau.