Montreal police officers’ pants pressure tactic is on hold, at least until Friday.
Here’s a timeline of the protest, which began almost three years ago.
July 4, 2014
Montreal police announce they will don red baseball caps and combat pants as the first stage in an escalating series of pressure tactics to protest proposed reforms to their pension plans. Their union says the reforms proposed under Quebec’s Bill 3 will cost the average police officer $114 a week or $6,000 a year, nearly 10 per cent of their salaries.
July 28, 2014
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre promises sanctions against the 100 or so police officers who called in sick two days earlier. All of the officers will lose a sick day, and Coderre said the bill to pay for the overtime hours needed to fill the gap would be sent to the police union.
Aug. 2, 2014
Army surplus stores say they have seen a spike in business as police officers seek out camouflage pants, including brightly coloured ones.
Aug. 10, 2014
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says his government is not going to back down on pension plan reforms.
Dec. 4, 2014
Quebec government adopts Bill 3, legislation changing pension provisions for municipal workers, including police officers.
Dec. 6, 2014
Montreal’s police union advises its members to take off their camouflage pants and revert to their normal uniforms during the funeral of Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau.
June 11, 2015
Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will introduce “measures” in the fall to force police officers to wear their full uniform after Montreal cops wore fatigues during the state funeral of former premier Jacques Parizeau two days earlier. The union says neither the city nor the police department asked the union to suspend pressure tactics for Parizeau’s funeral, as they did for Jean Béliveau’s funeral. No such legislation is tabled in the fall.
June 18, 2015
Montreal’s police union announces its officers will be wearing their official uniforms for the funeral services of former mayor Jean Doré, at the request of the police force.
Feb 2, 2017
Montreal’s police union says officers will wear their regular uniforms during a funeral in Montreal for three of the six victims of the attack on a mosque in Quebec City the previous Sunday.
Feb. 10, 2017
Montreal’s police union says it will challenge in court an arbitrator’s ruling ordering it to stop a two-year sticker campaign that has seen squad cars turned into protest vehicles. The arbitrator ordered the union to stop stickering and to pay the city of Montreal the costs for removing those already in place. The union argues the arbitrator committed errors of law, most notably by ruling that the protest stickers were not protected by the freedom of expression provisions of the Charter of Rights.
March 30, 2017
Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux says Quebec will legislate a ban on police officers wearing camouflage pants on the job. “This is a practice that is not acceptable,” Coiteux said. “This is a practice we should no longer tolerate.”
May 17, 2017
An estimated 3,000 off-duty police officers tried their best to disrupt the opening of Montreal’s 375th celebrations by protesting through the city and into Old Montreal, where Mayor Denis Coderre inaugurated Jacques Cartier Bridge’s new lighting system. Officers marched down St-Denis St., stopping in front of city hall before heading to the Old Port. Wearing red baseball caps and camouflage pants while honking horns and blowing whistles, they were often met with loud boos as they passed by busy terraces. The next day, Coderre apologized to Montrealers who attended the bridge-lighting event and eventually promised a second Jacques Cartier Bridge show. It is scheduled for June 25 at 10:30 p.m.
May 19, 2017
The Couillard government says it won’t have time to adopt a bill banning police camouflage pants before the fall.
June 5, 2017
The city of Montreal and the police union say they will take part in a round of intensive bargaining between June 18 and June 21, with the possibility of extending the session.
June 19, 2017
Montreal’s police union asks officers to wear their regular uniforms for part of a week. In a temporary suspension of pressure tactics, the union is asking its members to wear the uniform until 11 p.m. on Friday. The union said in a statement that, in pausing its protest, it is attempting to “reach out” to its employers. “Considering the union’s commitment to intensive negotiations with the city, and taking into account the progress made, the board of directors decided that all police officers would wear the uniform,” a statement from the union read.