To cover overtime wages for police officers directing traffic at construction sites, Montrealers had to pay an extra $15 million in taxes over the last 18 months.
Yes, that's right, because the City of Montreal has so many orange cones everywhere, the people of the city had to fork over millions in added taxes so a police officer could be around to tell drivers when to stop and go.
According to information obtained by Fédération canadienne des contribuables (FCC) and the Journal de Montreal, police officers filed for a total of 255,600 hours of overtime pay from the beginning of this year to June 30th.
Breaking it down a bit, the payment-figures reveal that in a single day about 100 Montreal police officers would work at a rate of $60/hour for a 5-and-a-half hour shift. Four hours would be paid time and the added time would be overtime.
Still, $60 every hour just to wave your hands around? Kind of crazy, and we're not the only ones who think so. The director of the FCC told JdM these numbers are "astronomical."
Fortunately, there may be a solution on the horizon.
Details on the new deal being struck between the City of Montreal and the SPVM points to a cheaper solution: get police cadets (basically trainees) to direct traffic at a lower rate.
This solution isn't a guarantee, since the majority of police officers still need to see and vote on this new deal. Hopefully, though, this new stipulation will go forward and save us all a bunch of money.
Because come on, $15 million in just a year-and-a-half is kind of crazy.
For context, we can look at homicide rates from previous years. The following chart was compiled using Statistics Canada data.
The number of homicide victims over the past four years has been fairly consistent and works out to an average of 45.
Since it's September, we're around 3/4 — 75% — through the year. Using the average, we would expect there to be about 33 or 34 homicides by September, so 21 homicides is actually below what one might expect.
That said, anything can happen in a matter of months and monthly rates may vary.
The other thing we can consider is changes to Montreal's population from one year to the next. The homicide rate takes this into account, measuring the number of homicides per 100,000 people. However, the City of Montreal's most recent population count is from 2020 when it recorded 2,069,849 people.
In 2020, Montreal's homicide rate (0.97) was almost on par with that of St. John's, Newfoundland (0.96). Montreal's homicide rate was lower than that of Toronto (1.62), Vancouver (1.64), Calgary (2.53), and Edmonton (3.19). It was slightly higher than that of Ottawa (0.90).
The country's overall homicide rate in 2020 was 1.95.
Around 5 p.m. on Monday, a 51-year-old woman was turning into the parking lot of a polling station on Sunshine Street in Dollard-des-Ormeaux and ending up losing control of her car. As her car began to accelerate, she ended up hitting nine people who were waiting in line, SPVM spokesperson Manuel Couture confirmed with MTL Blog.
Of these nine people, there were three women, five men, and one 5-year-old child. All of them were transported to the hospital afterwards and police say there is no fear for any of their lives.
But, Couture explained that doctors are saying a 77-year-old woman who was hit during the accident could face complications because of her age.
At this time, police believe that the incident was not intentional. The woman's vehicle will be investigated in order to give police more explanation as to how this happened.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
Less than two weeks after Montreal's 19th homicide of the year, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) is reporting two more homicides, marking the city's 20th and 21st homicides of 2021.
Police are currently asking for the public's help tracking down suspects in the first of the two separate incidents, putting out a call for information.
Montreal's 20th homicide of the year
A 75-year-old man died of his injuries on September 17 following an attack earlier in the week, marking Montreal's 20th homicide of 2021. Now, Montreal police are asking for the public's help tracking down the suspects.
According to the SPVM, the suspects broke into the victim's apartment in Lasalle at approximately 1:30 a.m. on September 12.
"They forced their way into an apartment and assaulted the victim, who was later transported to the hospital. They also smashed objects inside the apartment, as well as the patio door, before leaving the premises," the SPVM says.
"At this time, all indications are that the victim was not the person targeted by the suspects."
The SPVM is asking the public to come forward with any information about this incident.
If you have information, you can contact Info-Crime Montréal anonymously and confidentially at 514-393-1133, or fill out the report form available on infocrimemontreal.ca.
Montreal's 21st homicide of the year
A 23-year-old died in hospital following a stabbing in Ville-Marie on the morning of September 18.
SPVM spokesperson Véronique Dubuc said police were called to rue Sherbrooke, near rue Mansfield, at around 1:45 a.m.
"When police arrived on the scene, they located two victims with upper-body injuries, both were transported to hospital," said Dubuc.
Dubuc said the second victim, a 20-year-old male, is considered "out of danger."
Investigators are still trying to understand the circumstances that led to the incident, but Dubuc said initial information suggests this was an altercation between two groups of individuals, and that three to four suspects fled on foot.
A perimeter is still in place this morning, and major crime investigators are on-site, along with a forensic identification expert.
Gun violence in our city has been on the rise for the past few months now. Recently, Montreal police received 911 calls for two separate shootings in the city. The first happened during the afternoon around 3:50 p.m., where multiple civilians reported hearing gunshots fired at the corner of Émile-Journault and 9th Avenue in Saint-Michel.
SPVM spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils told MTL Blog that when police arrived on the scene, they found a 23-year-old man who had been shot in the upper body. He was then transported to the hospital and we're told that his life is not in danger.
J'ÉTAIS LÀ, à moins de 50 mètres, #LIVE, en porte-à-porte avec @DenisCoderre quand c'est arrivé.
Il y a une garde… https://t.co/ZKT4XOeHQl
City council candidate Guillaume Lavoie from Ensemble Montréal tweeted that he and Denis Coderre were campaigning door-to-door right next to where the shooting happened. There is a daycare nearby. Some citizens told us that it was the 3rd time in a short time," Lavoie wrote.
The second shooting happened just after 12 a.m. on Thursday, September 16, only eight hours after the other shooting, in an apartment on rue Despréaux, which left a 29-year-old man wounded in the upper body. He was brought to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
"There was an altercation that happened in the apartment between several people and that's when gunshots were fired," Chèvrefils explained. "One or several suspects fled the scene before the arrival of the police."
The investigations for both incidents are ongoing and no arrests have been made in connection to the two shootings as of yet.