Montreal's mayor lashes out at firefighters who ransacked City Hall

Biran Daly, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:27 PM ET

MONTREAL — Mayor Denis Coderre says the firefighters' destructive pension protest at City Hall Monday evening was an "attack on democracy" and the police chief admits his officers should have stopped the crowd from rushing the building.

The firefighters vandalized several rooms, including the council chambers.

City Hall was littered with paper and a furious Coderre said some of the protesters threw glass during the rampage.

Coun. Marc-Andre Gadoury said he had water thrown in his face and a protester punched him after he refused to leave the council chambers.

"Democracy was attacked, City Hall was attacked," Coderre said.

"If there are people who crossed the line and if there are people who let things happen and were complicit, well, they'll face the consequences."

Police Chief Marc Parent announced an investigation and said any officers who aided the protesters would be punished.

He also suggested he might seek outside help to avoid any suggestions of a whitewash.

"If I have any doubt about the neutrality of the investigation, be assured that we will appeal to (provincial police)," he said.

Premier Philippe Couillard is tackling skyrocketing municipal costs by forcing workers to share the cost of their pensions.

Montreal firefighters have used the boldest pressure tactics. Eighty of them resigned en masse earlier this summer.

Other firefighters held a protest in front of City Hall where they lit fires, put them out, then turned their hoses on the iconic building.

Quebec's municipal pension deficit stands at $3.9 billion.


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