Montreal

Ditch the camouflage pants, Quebec tells police officers

Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux says he plans on tabling a bill as soon as possible to put an end to police wearing camouflage pants.

Minister says bill is on the way to ban the pants worn as a form of protest since 2014

Montreal police officers have been wearing camouflage plants since 2014 to protest the provincial government's pension reforms. (Graham Hughes/CP)

Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux says he plans on tabling a bill as soon as possible to put an end to police wearing camouflage pants.

Officers in Quebec have worn them as a form of protest since 2014, when Philippe Couillard's Liberal government introduced municipal pension reform.

The controversial law, passed in December of that year, forced municipal workers and retirees to contribute more to their pensions to offset what was at the time a $4-billion pension fund deficit.

Coiteux said he has tried negotiating, but can't wait any longer.

"This is a practice that is not acceptable. This is a practice that we should no longer tolerate," he told reporters Wednesday.

The colourful pants have been a source of controversy for some time, and the Quebec government has vowed to put an end to the practice before. 

Montreal police officers attended Jacques Parizeau's funeral in camouflage and plaid pants. (CBC)
Officers came under fire for wearing camo pants outside of the funeral of former premier Jacques Parizeau.

They ditched them, however, for the funerals of Jean Béliveau and René Angélil.

In 2015, Pierre Moreau, who was then minister of municipal affairs, said the government would introduce a bill banning the pants "sooner rather than later."

The head of Montreal's police officers' union, Yves Francoeur, has argued the pants protest is the only way to "have ourselves heard when we have no right to strike."

The union on Wednesday said it would not comment on the matter.

With files Benjamin Shingler

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