Last January, uniformed police officers began monitoring city council meetings in Saint-Bruno, Quebec, a town on Montreal’s south shore.
Though the town’s mayor claims the police are there to keep order, others claim their presence inhibits public debate.
A video published online last week showed the police removing several citizens from a council meeting after they asked tough questions. Independent media
company organization 99% Media produced the video.
The town’s mayor, Claude Benjamin, told CBC News the video does not accurately represent council meetings, and that only three people were thrown out last year.
However, the only opposition councillor, Michèle Archambault, told La Presse that expulsions are frequent.
Saint-Bruno is not the only Quebec municipality to have a police presence at its meetings. CBC News reports that officers attend city council meetings in Laval and expelled three people in 2012. La Presse reports that police have removed people from council meetings in Quebec and Sherbrooke.
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