Mayor Denis Coderre is calling last week's city hall protest by municipal workers unacceptable and an affront to democracy.
He met the media Friday afternoon to announce that 63 municipal employees are currently under investigation by the city for their roles in the protest, and that 39 of them were immediately suspended without pay.
All but 11 of them are firefighters who took part in the Aug. 18 protest which disrupted a city council meeting.
A group of more than 200 workers stormed the council chambers that evening, threw papers around, set off smoke bombs, splashed water on computers, and chased Mayor Denis Coderre from room to room until he barricaded himself in his office.
But even as he announced the sanctions against those workers, the mayor made a point of praising the work they do overall.
"What happened that day is unacceptable," said Coderre. "I want to appeal to the city workers, police and firefighters. I trust that you're part of the solution, you do impeccable work and if some individuals went too far that’s their own problem and I won't generalize. You have taken an oath to protect and to serve. The safety of the population needs to be total."
Earlier Friday, police chief Marc Parent announced that 44 city workers are facing criminal charges as a result of the protest — charges which include assault, illegal assembly, and mischief. In addition, a dozen police officers who essentially stood by while the protest took place have been spoken to, and could face discipline.
Parent adds the criminal investigation into the incident is not over, and he hints there could be more charges to come.
Municipal workers have been staging protests throughout the summer against Bill 3, the Quebec government's proposed pension reform legislation.