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Me Claude Laferrière, Lawyer June 11, 2012
Original French Text: http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/me-claude-laferri%C3%A8re/arnaque-temps-supplementaire-police_b_1585323.html
Québec taxpayers are being treated like cash cows or, at best, taken for patsies. Now you have retired cops and criminal experts providing colour commentary on police actions during student demonstrations, as if they were hockey games.
We have gone beyond all predictions for the number of demonstrations and of arrests.
On the ground, police officers hurry to their assignments which they seem to enjoy — at double overtime, of course — while small businesses are going broke — with the exceptions of café patios now serving a new clientele — and Montreal’s mayor is freaking out.
As for the Premier, where is he? Unreachable, but he can plainly see that the fear mongering can give him some leverage, as I am sure the polling will confirm, and that he could be within reach of a second majority. He can already count on the anglophone and minority vote, and now all he needs is that fear stricken margin of the francophone vote. He is sure to get that from older voters and small business, especially in small towns.
Padding the pocketbooks of the police while frightening people, that’s the magic formula. And in Québec, it works! Internationally however, I worry that the perception might be different and profoundly harmful. And don’t even talk about our accumulating deficit that will have to be dealt with sooner or later, “Greek style” or otherwise.
Anytime now, we won’t be surprised to learn that some police officers became wealthy businessmen thanks to the overtime they made off our backs, sometimes quite literally not just as a figure of speech.
Recall that during the Arab Spring in Egypt, it was police officers who raised the outrage of the population and of the international community, not the army. The military, all smiles, were hailed by the crowds while the police were scorned for acts of torture and abusive force.
So back to reality and let’s call a spade a spade. Let’s send the police back to directing traffic at regular pay, without overtime.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.