The City of Montreal will comply with a provincial flag law that requires the Fleur-de-lis to have “precedence over any other flag or emblem.”
“Since 1996, we have had the same flag policy at the City of Montreal, but then there was a new request from the province of Quebec to have the flag in front of some of the municipal buildings,” explained Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.
“In the past, no municipal administration took this seriously, but I’m doing so.”
Th change comes after two retired journalists, Gilles Paquin and Jean-Pierre Bonhomme, accused the city of violating provincial legislation by prominently flying the Canadian flag, instead of the Quebec flag, at Montreal City Hall.
Lawyer Hugo Vaillancourt argued one infraction his clients noted was the absence of the Quebec flag from Montreal’s council chamber.
He says the Fleur-de-lis was also missing from several events involving dignitaries.
The Act Respecting the Flag and Emblems of Quebec states, “as the national emblem of Quebec, the flag shall be displayed at official events and in the places, cases and circumstances determined by regulation of the government.”
“We’re proud to be Montrealers, we’re proud to be Quebecers and we’re proud to be Canadians,” Plante said.
Montreal’s director general confirmed receiving a letter last January about the infraction, forcing the city to reevaluate its policy.
The Fleur-de-lis will be added to council chambers and fly front-and-centre outside Montreal City Hall starting Nov. 19.
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