Opinion: Montreal should repeal its anti-protest bylaw, P-6

It has been 50 years since the inception of a municipal bylaw created to repress freedom of expression in Montreal. In opposition, Projet Montréal called for its repeal. Two years into their mandate, we are calling on them to take action.

It was on Nov. 12, 1969 that the city of Montreal adopted bylaw 3926, the precursor of what in 1994 officially became bylaw P-6 (Bylaw concerning the prevention of breaches of the peace, public order and safety, and the use of public property); the bylaws’ wording is almost identical.

In May 2012, against the backdrop of the student strike, the Tremblay administration strengthened P-6 in order to repress the protest movement.

The city of Montreal added article 2.1, on the “itinerary” of protests, which targets any public gathering, as well as article 3.2, on the “mask,” which targets any method of facial covering that could be deemed “unreasonable” by the police. Moreover, the fines were hiked (for example, from $100 to $500 for a first offence).

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