As Quebec’s student protesters got headlines this spring and summer, they also cost taxpayers a lot of money. Montreal city police working overtime to monitor their marches and shenanigans billed an extra $7.3 million, La Presse reports. Provincial police billed an extra $1.5 million for the extra workload.
Taxpayers may not be overjoyed by the costs of the protest, but the Montreal business community is positively peeved. The Montreal Chamber of Commerce estimates a 15 per cent decrease in retail and restaurant sales in the downtown area. It seems that democracy has a way of disrupting consumption.
Back in May, the owner of a downtown pub on Crescent St. talked to the Canadian Press about a plunge in the number of patrons.
“A lot of people, as soon as the day is finished, they get into their cars and go back home,” Ziggy Eichenbaum said. “You walk around downtown at night and you could take a bowling ball and throw it.”