POLITICS

Philippe Couillard Not Pleased With Montreal Cops' Wearing Camouflage Pants At Parizeau Funeral

06/10/2015 02:41 EDT | Updated 06/10/2016 05:59 EDT
QUEBEC - Premier Philippe Couillard said his government plans to take measures to ensure Montreal police officers wear their uniforms after many donned camouflage pants to Jacques Parizeau's funeral on Tuesday.

Couillard condemned the officers who chose to wear the colourful attire — part of an ongoing battle over pension reforms — saying it showed a lack of judgment.

"I was shocked to see that," the premier said before the Liberal caucus meeting Wednesday. "It's a lack of judgment and respect that seems regrettable to me, especially in the presence of Mr. Parizeau, who we were honouring — who all of Quebec was honouring."

The premier said the choice of clothing demonstrated a lack of respect towards Parizeau as well as the officers' own profession.

"We cannot have a society where peace officers or security officers behave themselves in this way," Couillard said. "I would have hoped that the officers themselves, within their own ranks, would say, 'we can't act this way.' But that didn't seem to have happened, unfortunately."

Couillard's comments Wednesday followed those of Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who said Montreal's police brotherhood showed a lack of class and they should apologize to Parizeau's family.

The union did not return messages on Wednesday.

For the premier, the officers' actions were all the more unacceptable since they chose to wear their uniforms at the December funeral of Montreal Canadiens hockey icon Jean Beliveau.

"That they had the wisdom to not have this kind of protest at Mr. Beliveau's funeral is good, but that they didn't have this basic wisdom yesterday as well is very, very regrettable," Couillard said.

The government intends to present measures this fall and Couillard said Public Security Minister Lise Theriault had been working on ensuring rules surrounding uniforms are respected.

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