Montrealer Maude Laurier was driving to work this week when she was pulled over by a police officer, but instead of getting a ticket, she was handed a $100 bill.
"He told me that he will give me a gift that morning, and I was surprised," Laurier recalled.
"And he gave me a $100 bill. So I was really surprised a little bit. And after that a little bit happy and emotional about that, just before Christmas."
The officer, who has remained anonymous, has given out cash to at least 50 people, most of them with run-down cars in need of repairs, said Ian Lafrenière, a spokesman for Montreal police.
Lafrenière said when he heard what the officer was doing, he couldn't believe it.
"I thought it was a prank, it was a joke," he said.
"Then we found out about it. It's the officer, a friend of his gave him money, $5,000, and he asked him to give out the money and make a difference this year."
The reaction has been overwhelming, Lafrenière said.
"[The officer] was extremely touched by the reaction of people, people crying of joy, being so surprised at getting money from a police officer," he said.
The officer has finished handing out money for now, Lafrenière said.