Protests against austerity last spring cost more than $ 2.3 million in wages Police Service of the City of Montreal between March 23 and May 9, La Presse has learned. Approximately $ 10,000 in damages to police vehicles added to this bill.
By comparison, spring maple, in 2012, had cost 4.4 million in salaries between 1 February and 27 April. He had mobilized about 75% of Quebec students, or 316,000 people.
The movement of the spring against austerity, however, was smaller in scale, with about 60,000 students in general strike. They were joined by unions during mobilization days, as was the case during the march of workers from 1 May
On the invoice of 2.3 million, overtime represents approximately $ 958,000. The bill could be particularly salty at the end of the year as student associations and unions promise to intensify the mobilization.
The Commander Ian Lafrenière SPVM recognizes that since 2012 there has been an increase in “major” overtime during demonstrations, but also for the security service at special events. However, it was unable to provide figures on this.
“The events last longer, they are more extensive, so it requires more police officers working longer.”
Ian Lafrenière gives the example of the many construction sites, the GB cycling festival, which includes various island tours and St. Patrick in particular.
Costs protests have meanwhile increased, according to the Commander Lafrenière, because of the number of events where no path is given to the police. “Before 2012, people remettaient their itinerary in the vast majority of cases, he said. It is obvious that during a demonstration in downtown Montreal, the police must be more, because you have to close streets in extremis. At night, it’s worse. ”
He emphasized that when the journey is known in advance, it is possible, for example, to close a street by a barricade and let one police car at the intersection. Now the streets are closed by the physical presence of several police officers, which represents a higher cost, says the spokesperson.
He also claims that the agents should be more on the ground since that demonstrators attacked physically by police officers. “It did not happen before, this kind of incident,” he added.
In a context of fiscal restraint and restless social climate, Lafrenière commander acknowledges that the management of overtime is a challenge. However, it declined to make progress on other challenges facing the future chief Philippe Pichet.
La Presse has requested an interview with him since in addition to have been recommended as chief of the SPVM, is also a specialist in events. The police, however, told La Presse that no interviews will be granted by the official appointment of the head, scheduled in a few weeks.