New STM committee to help improve relations between inspectors and public

The STM is pushing forward with its plans to have its inspectors get status as special constables with boosted powers and it's come up with measures to make this more public-friendly.

The STM is creating a new watchdog committee to help improve relations between its inspectors and the public.

It will have no mandate of investigation or verification of complaints - the change in status for inspectors will already carry an element of accountability, said the STM in an email statement to CJAD 800.

The STM adds that the change also means the inspectors will be subject to scrutiny under the Police Act and the Quebec Police Ethics Committee. They can also be investigated by the Bureau of Independent Investigations if necessary.

The STM is also hiring an independent expert in criminology and police ethics to act as an advisor.

It will also consult with various community and advocacy groups in the next couple of weeks.

In a tweet, Montreal official opposition leader Lionel Perez called it a public relations announcement.

Perez said in the tweet that he wondered if this was coincidence that the measures come as Montreal city council was set to debate his motion demanding an independent inquiry into a violent takedown by STM inspectors in March at the Villa Maria metro.

"We need an INDEPENDENT investigation. Period," tweeted Perez.

The Plante administration's majority on Montreal city council voted this afternoon against an independent inquiry.