Montreal firefighters tell mayor he’s no longer welcome at fires

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre at the scene of a fire on February 28, 2014. Denis Coderre/Twitter

MONTREAL — The firefighters’ union in Montreal said Thursday that the city’s mayor is no longer welcome at the scene of fires and has been asked to return his fireproof suit and hard hat.

“I regret to inform you that Montreal firefighters have fully lost confidence in you,” said Ronald Martin, the president of the Association des pompiers de Montréal in a statement. “[We] are asking you to immediately stop turning up at scenes of accidents and significant fires that take place in Montreal.”

According to the firefighters’ union president, it was an unanimous decision that also included a request from the city’s firefighters to return the fireproof yellow suit and hard hat, “as you are no longer considered worthy of wearing them.”

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Coderre is well known for showing up at fires in Montreal and then sharing updates with the city via social media.

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At the scene of a fire in downtown Montreal in February, he had his photo taken wearing full firefighting regalia and a hard had with “Mayor” emblazoned on it.

The statement from the Montreal firefighters’ union was released after tempers flared over Quebec’s proposed changes to municipal employee pensions.

The provincial government tabled a bill on June 12, hoping to reform municipal pension plans and reduce deficits by forcing employees to share the cost of the pensions with the government.

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Watch: Union representative Marc Ranger talks pension issues 

Bill 3 suggests that municipalities and employees would split pension contributions 50-50. Unions are concerned because this could double employee pension contributions and those municipal employees who have already retired could have indexed pension increases put on hold.

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After the bill was tabled, 80 firefighters resigned, while hundreds of employees, including firefighters and police officers protested outside City Hall on June 17.

Read the statement from the Association des pompiers de Montréal in full below [in French].
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