Report to recommend Montreal police chief be relieved of his duties

It's being recommended that Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet be relieved of his duties based a report on the internal affairs of the department to be made public Wednesday, according to Radio-Canada.

Report claims systemic problems plague force

Radio-Canada has learned a report slated to be released Wednesday will recommend that Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet be replaced. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

A damning report is recommending Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet be relieved of his duties, according to Radio-Canada sources.

The report, on the police force's internal affairs, is expected to be made public Wednesday. It claims the force suffers from systemic management problems.

According to Radio-Canada, Pichet could be given a choice: resign, be suspended and see the force put under trusteeship, or be dismissed.

This happens as Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is on her way back to the city from a climate summit in Chicago, and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard's cabinet is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning.

'Administrative investigation'

The report was written by Michel Bouchard, a former deputy minister of justice who was given the task early this year to conduct an "administrative investigation" of the Montreal police force. 

Bouchard was tasked with examining how the SPVM's internal investigations work — including management, coaching and procedures.

The investigation stemmed from allegations that the SPVM's internal affairs department fabricated evidence against whistleblowers.

Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said at the time that he had full confidence in Bouchard to conduct the investigation.

"Mr. Bouchard possesses vast experience and a flawless reputation, and I'm convinced that he would be able to take an impartial look at the situation and propose the best solutions possible," Coiteux said in March.

Pichet and the SPVM

​Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre selected Pichet for the SPVM's top role in 2015. He was given a five-year mandate.

Coderre said at the time Pichet was a man who "adapts to his functions, and when he has to face adversity, he responds to it and can take care of that. He can take the heat."

Pichet first joined the force in 1991. He joined its administration in 2005.

He was in charge of co-ordinating the police's response to the student protests that gripped the city in 2012.

When he took the helm of the SPVM, his main priorities were fighting radicalization and cybercrime.

With files from Radio-Canada's Sébastien Bovet