The Quebec government is broadening its investigation into allegations of corruption and wrongdoing within the Montreal police force, municipal forces from Quebec City, Longueuil and Gatineau will help provincial police because the number of allegations has risen in recent days. “This serious information suggests that beyond certain files, there are also more systemic issues, notably involving the (Montreal police’s) internal investigation practices.” The role of the RCMP in the investigation will be increased, and a separate administrative probe will look specifically at how Montreal police handles internal investigations and how the force operates. The investigation will now be co-directed by SQ assistant director general Yves Morency and Madeleine Giauque, the head of the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), an independent police-oversight agency set up in 2013.
Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux will also ask Police Chief Philippe Pichet to give a report on what measures he intends to take to ensure the problems in the SPVM do not worsen in the short term, and to restore public confidence in his police force. And finally, the minister will consider amending Bill 107 to ensure that certain types of allegations that undermine public confidence in police services be conferred to the BEI. Coiteux also announced a new “info line” for SPVM officers who wish to report instances of corruption within their own force. That number, which is being staffed by SQ officers, is 514-598-4336. But the leader of the official opposition at City Hall, Valérie Plante, said the measures announced by the minister fall short “because they do not attack the root of the problem, which is the culture of secrecy that reigns in the police service,”