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.