Town councillors in the embattled eastern Ontario community of Clarence-Rockland are looking at giving their bylaw officers the right to handcuff people, including unruly citizens at council meetings.
Clarence-Rockland's administration committee discussed granting the greater powers to bylaw officers on Aug. 26 to help keep council meetings under control.
The review comes as protesters gear up for a rally outside Monday night's council meeting calling for three members of the committee — embattled Mayor Marcel Guibord and two councillors — to resign.
Guibord and councillors Diane Choinière and Guy Félio are facing breach of trust charges after a two-year Ontario Provincial Police investigation.
The charges against the mayor stem from emails that police allege suggest collusion between the three elected officials and a lawyer to oust a former town manager.
Protesters plan rally during Monday council meeting
Robert Gadoua, the organizer of Monday night's planned protest, said the mayor is attacking members of the public for speaking out.
"He just doesn't like the message and when you don't like the message you attack the messenger and this whole issue of the handcuffs is a monster of their own creation," said Gadoua.
In Quebec, municipal politicians must step down when facing criminal charges. But in Ontario, Minister of Municipal Affairs Linda Jeffreys said the Ontario government would not act before a conviction.
"It's clear that Rockland city council is running city appropriately, business is moving forward and we're confidant residents will receive services they expect," said Jeffreys.
Guibord would not speak with CBC News but told Radio Canada that for more than a year council meetings have featured disruptions.
He said he intends to stay in place until the end of his mandate, despite a petition circulating since Friday demanding his resignation.
Clarence-Rockland is a community about 40 kilometres east of Ottawa.