The Official Opposition at Montreal City Hall wants to offer more transparency and opportunities for participation to the citizens within the Commission de la sécurité publique. To achieve this goal, the elected officials of Ensemble Montréal are calling for Plante’s administration to follow up on the recommendation 19 from the Office de consultation publique de Montréal’s (OCPM) report on systemic racism and discrimination, which proposes, among other things, that two independent members representing civil society be included in the Commission and that they have equal voting rights with the current members.
As suggested by the OCPM, the two independent members should be selected for their expertise, including in racial and social profiling and human rights, and be appointed through a transparent selection process conducted by the Commission de la sécurité publique.
“This proposal is in keeping with the spirit of community outreach that we wish to carry out on public safety issues, which are often very sensitive for the population. Giving citizens a voice in this commission would ensure that all angles are covered upstream rather than in reaction,” said Abdelhaq Sari, the Official Opposition critic for public safety.
At the public meeting on the Plante administration’s progress on the OCPM’s 38 recommendations on March 29, City of Montreal officials finally admitted after two questions on the subject that no request had yet been sent to the Quebec government to make the required legislative changes. The Official Opposition deplores the Plante administration’s delay when the OCPM set October 2021 as the deadline to begin the process. This is in addition to the fact that only 10 of the 38 recommendations on systemic racism and discrimination have been implemented in two years.
“The fact that we had to prompt the City of Montreal in order to get the facts straight, while participating in a public meeting, is unacceptable and calls into question the transparency that we offer to Montrealers who expect their questions to be answered,” added Alan DeSousa, Mayor of the Borough of Saint-Laurent.
A motion will be tabled at the April 25 City Council to obtain a formal commitment from the Plante administration. The motion requests that the City of Montreal quickly make the necessary representations to the Quebec government in order to amend section 72 of the Charter of Ville de Montréal concerning the appointment of members of the Commission de la sécurité publique.
This demand is also supported by the Centre de recherche-action sur les relations raciales (CRARR).