Police brotherhood seeing red over reports city chief tried to sack police chief
MONTREAL—It's being portrayed as the ultimate fight between two powerful men: City of Montreal Director General Guy Hebert and Chief of Police Marc Parent.
“It has to stop right now,” said an irate Yves Francoeur, head of the police brotherhood. His members are irate after learning that Hebert tried to get the chief of police fired.
“We need an independence between police work and politics,” Francoeur continued.
The man in charge of public security at city hall says he's heard nothing about it.
“I do not know,” said a surprised Christian Dubois.
The politician believes that the on-going labour dispute, including frustrations over scheduling, has the police brotherhood seeing red.
“Francoeur is trying to exploit that conflict and we believe that's why he's trying to put a battle between the chief of police and the general manager of the city,” he added.
Mayor Michael Applebaum is staying out of it.
“I am supporting Marc Parent as chief of police and I'm also supporting Guy Hebert in his role as director general of the City of Montreal,” said the mayor.
And as far as firing a police chief, the city says that isn't exactly easy.
“By law, it's the majority of council, which is two-thirds, and the decision of the minister of public security to do that,” said Dubois.
Opposition leaders are perhaps enjoying the drama, but do say it's up to officials to get along.
“I do not like everyone at city council, but I speak with them and find a solution to each problem,” said Richard Bergeron, head of the second opposition Project Montreal.
The city's police chief is out of town until Monday and the director general stayed out of the spotlight on Friday. The two men at the centre of this latest city hall storm are the two who will eventually set the record straight.