Mont-Tremblant police officers carry out their threat by going to court to prevent the dismantling of their police service. They want to annul Quebec’s decision to replace the municipal body, in open conflict with the City, by officers from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).
The legal action was filed on Wednesday on behalf of the Fraternité des policemen de la ville de Mont-Tremblant (FPMTT), the Federation of municipal police officers of Quebec (FPMQ) and a group of citizens of Mont-Tremblant. This is a request to institute proceedings for a declaration of nullity and a request for a safeguard order to have Quebec’s decision annulled.
Last week, the Minister of Public Security of Quebec, Geneviève Guilbault, approved at the request of the City of Mont-Tremblant to dissolve its municipal police service, to be served by the SQ, like several other municipalities in the area. In particular, savings of two million dollars per year were promised by the mayor.
This request arose in a context of strong tensions between the City of Mont-Tremblant and its police force of 43 officers. The mayor, Luc Brisebois, even alleged in a report on Radio-Canada that elected officials had been subjected to intimidation. According to the president of the Fraternity, Serge-Alexandre Bouchard, the municipality wishes to abolish its police service not for the sake of savings, but rather to settle a labor dispute.
“The last bulwark for us is justice. The case has a good legal basis, and we will go to the end. Contrary to what has been alleged, our police officers do very professional work in the field, ”explained Mr. Bouchard, contacted by Le Devoir.
The two parties also have the opportunity to confront each other before other legal bodies. A complaint was lodged by the FPMTT before the Administrative Labor Tribunal. A formal notice was also sent to the mayor of Mont-Tremblant, as well as to the mayoress of Lac-Tremblant-Nord, alleging defamatory remarks and asking them to retract. A grievance was then sent to the municipalities.
The police hired the former prosecutor of the Charbonneau commission and former inspector general of Montreal, Me Denis Gallant, to pilot this new appeal against Quebec. Neither the cabinet of Minister Guilbault, nor that of Mayor Luc Brisebois, wished to comment on the file since it is in court.