Montreal police to wear red caps and camouflage pants
Montreal police will be sporting new flourishes to their police uniforms starting Friday, as the squad has chosen to wear red caps and colourful pants as a means of expressing their objections to changes to their pension plan.
The officers last wore the crimson lids and non-standard issue trousers – usually camouflage pants - in 2009 when the Quebec's Essential Services Council refused to block the practice, judging that it did not have the authority to prevent the officers from suiting up in that style.
Montreal police are unhappy with changes to the pension plans of all government employees proposed by the provincial Liberal government.
Under Bill 3, the government wants public pensions funded equally -- 50 per cent by tax payers and 50 per cent by workers.
Right now the split for police is 76-24.
Montreal police brotherhood president Yves Francoeur says the pension plan seems generous, but it is that way because police in Montreal negotiated better retirement income for lower salaries.
“And what they do today? They ask us to pay at least $114 more every week, $6,000 a year. So it doesn't make sense,” he said.
Many officers took part in a recent protest against the changes in Quebec City at which Francoeur denounced the cost-saving measures as "a bulldozer law."
Francoeur says the pension reform proposed under the PQ government was better because it targeted only those plans that were underfunded.
The brotherhood says there will be more protests but refused to talk about what form they could take.
In Quebec City, Premier Philippe Couillard says he's committed to staying the course.
“We must re-balance Quebec's finances, putting them back in line with our revenues,” he said.
Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau, who proposed the legislation, has said that Quebec civil servants affected will not be able to avoid the new rules but that certain elements could be up for negotiation.