Coderre, Couillard denounce workers storming city hall as police chief vows probe

Montreal police chief Marc Parent (center)
PHOTO: CTV Montreal/Max Harrold

With both Montreal's mayor and the Quebec premier voicing their disapproval over a rowdy pension plan protest that saw some municipal employees storm city hall last night, Montreal's police chief is vowing there will be a full investigation into the demonstration.

"We cannot accept as a society, I cannot accept as a leader of the government of Quebec what happened yesterday, not only the demonstration itself in the midst of a municipal council meeting, but the attitude of the police forces that remained passive," said Premier Philippe Couillard.

"Other people have the impressive—which i think is justified—that with different types of demonstrations the treatment is different," he continued, alluding to the police crackdown on student protests in 2012.

Several hundred workers demonstrated outside the building before about 250 entered as a council meeting was set to resume on Monday evening.

Papers were strewn about the building and council chamber and a sign calling the mayor a thief was erected during the brief but rowdy protest.

Police, who are also affected by the proposed pension reforms, stood idly by.

Police chief Marc Parent told a news conference Tuesday he was disappointed by the turn of events, which has raised questions about the force's ability to do its job, but he says he believes Montrealers still have confidence in their police force.

"I don't think we have lost control of our police force," he said.

"What we saw yesterday is very sad. I'm disappointed of course, I'm mad about a few things that I saw, images that I saw, but we have to understand that this is not the majority [of officers]."

Municipal employees have been protesting throughout the summer over a provincial government plan to overhaul municipal pensions.

Many public workers are expected to converge on the National Assembly tomorrow for the start of preliminary hearing on the pension reform Bill 3.

Couillard says it's up to the unions to ensure there is no repeat performance of the actions Monday night in Montreal.

"People should act responsibly," he warned.

"Of course, authorities will take the measures that are needed in terms of security, but it's up to unions and their leadership to decide how they will behave and communicate."

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  1. Paul posted on 08/19/2014 01:35 PM
    Will Mr Parent be issuing $630 tickets to those who participated in this protest if no route was submitted to police in advance?
  2. coeur de spaghat posted on 08/19/2014 01:41 PM
    Well, as long as he's disappointed, I guess they learned their lesson.
  3. joeN posted on 08/19/2014 01:52 PM
    I wouldn't hold my breath on anything happening to the law breakers. Like past labor conflicts, the union will force upon the employer to drop all charges, sanctions, disciplinary action etc as condition of return to work. I think time has come to disband, decertify, disallow union in public workers period.
  4. ric posted on 08/19/2014 07:08 PM
    There's videos, then they can figure out who vandalized city hall. They should be arrested, charged, then fired. If they don't want to make the over-paid cushy blue collar salary, then someone else will take it. The cops should be fired for refusing to apply the law on their buddies. The law is non-discretionary.
    If they want to be hoodlums, thenI want to see all these idiots CRASH and BURN.
  5. RONALD posted on 08/20/2014 02:24 AM
    I WONDER HOW MANY GOT ARRESTED?
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