April 4, 2019 5:47 pm
Updated: April 4, 2019 6:12 pm

Montreal’s public transit authority wants inspectors to have new powers

WATCH: Less than a month after a violent altercation between Metro inspectors and a rider, the STM is thinking of adopting new safety measures. As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, the measures wouldn't be to protect the public but rather to give the inspectors more power.

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Montreal’s public transit authority wants its 163 inspectors to have more powers to crack down on people who don’t respect the law and help protect those in distress.

Société de transport de Montréal (STM) president Philippe Schnobb says the powers to detain and arrest are just some of the new authority the inspectors will receive.

There are also plans to allow inspectors the power to tow vehicles parked in reserved bus lanes.

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“Now they will have the authority to keep the person on location waiting for the police,” he told Global News.

Schnobb insists the inspectors won’t be allowed to carry lethal weapons such as firearms, Tasers, or pepper spray.

However, he insists the proposed new authority will require inspectors to abide by the Police ethics commission — a place the public can turn to if they have complaints about inspectors.

“Now there will be an independent process to make an inquiry on those issues,” he said.

The resolution comes one month after Juliano Grey was beaten by two STM inspectors on the platform of the Villa-Maria metro station on March 7.

The altercation was captured in a video on a mobile phone.

READ MORE: Independent inquiry sought in Montreal Metro altercation

At least Montreal one city councillor deplores the resolution.

Marvin Rotrand insists the proposal could eventually grant the inspectors the right to carry armed weapons.

“It could allow them as well to carry guns, Tasers, pepper spray and with less training than a police officer has and without being controlled by the Montreal Police, they would, in essence, be an independent Montreal Police force,” Rotrand says.

The city councillor insists inspectors should be responsible for stopping fare evaders — not acting as quasi-police officers.

The resolution needs to be signed off by Montreal city council, the police department, and the Quebec public security department.

No date has been given when this will happen.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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