The government finally approved the dissolution of the Mont-Tremblant Police Department and its replacement by a service from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) on Tuesday, a decision that the union representing the Mont-Tremblant police officers intends to challenge.
Mont-Tremblant municipal officials voted at the end of 2019 in favor of the dissolution of their police service, in the midst of a labor dispute.
“This authorization is granted following a rigorous and legally supervised process in which each step has been followed. The SQ, the Union of Quebec Municipalities, the Quebec Federation of Municipalities, the Association of Provincial Police Officers of Quebec have declared themselves in favor of the approach ”, briefly commented the Deputy Premier and Minister of Security. public, Geneviève Guilbault, in a press release published Tuesday afternoon.
The authorization granted by Quebec comes into effect “immediately”, she said.
In Quebec, any municipality with less than 50,000 inhabitants can be served by the SQ. However, Mont-Tremblant has barely a little more than 10,000 inhabitants, which qualifies it. The small municipality of Lac-Tremblant-Nord, served by Mont-Tremblant, will also fall under the jurisdiction of the SQ.
This decision delighted both municipalities. “I am very relieved to be able to finally turn the page on the climate of uncertainty caused by the wait for this ministerial decision”, declared the mayor of Mont-Tremblant, Luc Brisebois, who believes that the change of guard will allow the City to save about $ 2 million per year without affecting the quality of service, on the contrary.
This argument, repeated for a long time, did not find an echo on the side of the Federation of municipal police officers of Quebec (FPMQ) and the Fraternity of the police officers of the city of Mont-Tremblant (FPMT), who denounced the decision. and announced that they will initiate legal remedies to have it invalidated.
“I am flabbergasted by Minister Guilbault’s decision. […] 65% of the population wants to keep their municipal police force because the quality of service will decrease with the SQ, but the minister is not listening to them. Since I have been working as a police officer in Mont-Tremblant, I can no longer count the times that the SQ has asked us for a hand because they do not have enough staff in the region ”, protested the president. of the FPMT, Serge-Alexandre Bouchard, based on a survey conducted in November 2020.
The unions also said they were disappointed that Minister Guilbault did not wait for the end of the work of the Advisory Committee on Police Reality, which was examining the Mont-Tremblant issue.
Tuesday’s announcement marks the final stage in an ongoing conflict in Mont-Tremblant. After the vote of elected officials in favor of the dissolution in December 2019, the FPMT replied with a lawsuit filed before the Administrative Labor Tribunal in January 2020.
Last week, the police unions had given notice to Mayor Brisebois and Mayor of Lac-Tremblant-Nord, Kim Meyer, who had declared in interviews with Radio-Canada that they had been intimidated by the share of police officers. They demanded that the mayors retract and apologize.
The police force and the City had been at loggerheads for a long time. In March 2019, the Fraternity denounced that agents may have been recorded without their knowledge in a meeting room. Three out of four agents were also the subject of a sanction or a disciplinary investigation, had denounced the union.