Montreal

Apology wanted after Montreal police wear army pants to state funeral

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is demanding an apology from the Montreal Police Brotherhood after officers wore camouflage pants and baseball caps to the state funeral of former premier Jacques Parizeau.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre wants police union to apologize to family of former premier Jacques Parizeau

The camouflage pants may soon be a thing of the past once the provincial government passes a bill against police officers wearing them on the job. (CBC)

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is demanding an apology from the Montreal Police Brotherhood after officers wore camouflage pants and baseball caps to the state funeral of former premier Jacques Parizeau.

It's a matter of class,- Denis Coderre, Montreal Mayor

"It's a matter of judgement. It's a matter of class," Coderre said. "If it was one of them who passed away, you think they would have those camouflage pants?"

Montreal's police officers have been wearing camouflage pants and red baseball caps instead of their formal uniform since 2014 as a way to protest against the province's pension reform bill.

Bill 3 passed into law last December, forcing municipal workers and retirees to contribute more to their pensions to offset a $4-billion pension fund deficit.

Officers agreed to wear their full uniform for former Habs star Jean Beliveau's funeral in December.

They ignored a similar request for Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte's funeral in April.

On Tuesday, the union president of the Montreal Police Brotherhood said nobody asked them to wear their full uniform.

"Am I going to take them by the hands and say this is what you will wear today because there's a state funeral?" said Coderre.

The mayor is calling on the officers' union to apologize to the Parizeau family.

The mayor of Montreal, the premier of Quebec and some callers want Montreal officers to stop wearing camouflage pants. Others say they support the officers. Shawn talks with Sue Smith 3:43

He also wants Quebec to take action. He's calling on the provincial government to make the police officers wear their full uniforms again.

Quebec Public Security Minister Lise Thériault said the union should step up.

"Every different police [force wears] the uniform so why in Montreal is it not the case? Ask the president of the [union]," she said.

The Montreal Police Brotherhood refused to comment.

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