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July 11 2012
Original French text: http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/societe/2012/07/11/003-sq-cout-manifestation.shtml
A protester in Victoriaville, May 5 2012
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) does not want to disclose the costs of deploying officers to maintain order during student protests against tuition fee increases. In a message to Radio Canada dated July 6, the SQ said that communicating such information could negatively affect public security.
Radio Canada requested information from the SQ under access to information legislation, to determine “costs of police services delivered by the SQ having to do with student protests in Quebec.” The request specifially names “regular and overtime pay” for officers between the weeks of February 13 and May 21.
After studying the issue, Luc Joli-Coeur, who is responsible for providing the public with access to SQ documents, concluded that divulging such information could “affect the security of the public and the state, and would effectively reduce the effectiveness of a program, a plan of action or a security protocol designed to protect property or people.”
The SQ did, however, disclose costs incurred from damage to its equipment during protests in Victoriaville. The amount was in excess of $20,000, with $18,500 spent for repairs to a minibus, $1,371 to undo vandalism to Victoriaville police cars, and $777 for renting a bus.
The Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM) was also the object of an access to information request from Radio Canada, which it accepted. According to the SPVM, student protests between February 1 and April 27 cost the SPVM $4.4M in officer salaries.
The mayor of Montreal, Gerald Tremblay, has announced that he plans to ask the provice of Quebec for assisstance in covering these costs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.