Montreal cops demand the right to wear 'clown pants' in the future

Earlier this summer, Montreal police officers started looking like police officers again, after ditching the colourful camouflage pants they began wearing to protest lagging contract talks.

But now, the city's police union is set to go before the National Assembly, to argue for the right to wear the clown pants for future labour disputes.

On Wednesday, union boss Yves Francoeur will be in Quebec City for hearings on Bill 133, a bill tabled earlier this summer by Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux, which makes regulation uniforms for cops mandatory.

Francoeur's 18-page brief, obtained by the Journal de Montréal, calls the bill "a flagrant violation of police officers' freedom of expression." The brief calls for the bill's withdrawal, based on several legal precedents.

Other police unions across the province are also opposed to the bill for similar reasons.

The bill was tabled in April, two months before the Montreal police union came to terms with the force on a new contract. That ended the camo-pants protests which had been going on since the summer of 2014.