It was an embarrassment. Who do Montreal police officers think they are going to win over?
They have no public support for their contract demands. They have no public support for their clown pants charade. Public confidence in Montreal police is probably lower than it has ever been.
But there they were Wednesday night marching and doing their best in their adolescent way to disrupt Montreal’s anniversary celebrations.
You may not agree with the lavish orgy of spending that is marking this somewhat questionable anniversary. But there is a time for manners and a certain respect that we need from the men and women who are sworn to protect us. We pay them well. A constable with six years’ experience earns a base salary of $77,000 a year plus generous overtime and despite their complaints, their pension plans are ones most of us would love. Their continuing petulance is only undermining our confidence in them.
Which brings us to the 375th.
The folks at Radio-Canada did some math and figured out that this celebration is costing $1 billion. Mind you, much of that is for permanent facilities – stumps included.
$1 billion. After all, there may be different levels of government but there is only one taxpayer and the corporate contributions are minimal in comparison. I don’t need that kind of spending to know that despite everything, Montreal is a fine place to live.
That’s a lot of money that could be spent really improving our lives, like money that could properly fund our hospitals like the MUHC. Money that could help the poor and marginalized Montrealers who struggle through each day and money that could give repair city streets.
Just ask the CAA. This week it released its worst roads in Quebec and, yep, Montreal is right up there.
Been on Cote St-Luc Rd. lately? The road looks like it’s been around for 375 years.
In Quebec City this week, the Liberals proved once again that they take us and our votes for granted.
The government will not revisit the electoral map change that gets rid of Mount Royal riding much to the detriment of minority voters. When the largely francophone Saint-Marie-Saint-Jacques riding was threatened, it took a couple of protest marches to get that decision overturned. I applaud that newly formed citizens group that launching a legal challenge. It deserves our support.
Finally, just a word about the story the whole world is watching.
It is the surreal American tragedy that astounds and troubles us daily. I sometimes think that Trump can do whatever he wants. And the folks at Saturday Night Live had it spot on. Nothing seems to matter.
Let us pray that the system of checks and balances eventually kicks in. In the meantime, I am constantly reminded of the words of Bob Dylan, “It’s an idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth.”