Montreal City Hall fires 6 firefighters for role in violent pension protest
Dozens of Montreal firefighters face charges of assault, unlawful assembly and mischief
The City of Montreal has fired six firefighters for their role in a violent protest at city hall in August.
Hundreds of municipal workers stormed city hall on Aug. 18, trashing council chambers and interrupting a meeting to protest Bill 3 — the province's proposed pension reform legislation.
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"These kinds of acts will not be tolerated," Pierre Desrochers, president of the Montreal executive committee, said on Thursday, as he announced the result of his administration's investigation into the incident.
In addition to the six firefighters who will lose their jobs, Desrochers says another 57 city employees are facing suspensions ranging from one week to six months.
"The general public can see what happened on August 18 and I think they would have done the same thing," Desrochers said.
"I think we can all agree that ... they tried to intimidate us... they tried to intimidate all elected officials."
Desrochers said other employees are still being investigated for their involvement in the protest.
Police crack down on security
The City of Montreal made the announcement on Thursday at City Hall.
Montreal police stepped up security outside city hall leading up to the announcement.
Media heading inside for the news conference had to pass through two security check points.
Pierre Moreau, the minister of municipal affairs, responded to the city's disciplinary measures.
Moreau said he has travelled all over the province to listen to different opinions on Bill 3.
“What I see and what I hear is large public support. I understand that unions are against it, but you have to understand that in a social contract, we can’t say ‘If I don’t get what I want, I’m going to destroy everything.’ We live in a [civil] society,” he said.
41 firefighters expected to plead not-guilty
Aside from the city's investigation into the August protest, a total of 44 city workers are also facing criminal charges.
They face charges including assault, unlawful assembly and mischief.
Out of those charged, 41 firefighters are expected to plead not-guilty today.