Plante 'very open' to letting cops wear turbans, hijabs

Mayor Valerie Plante says she's "very open" to allowing Montreal police officers to wear hijabs, turbans, or any other religious headgear.

Earlier this week, councillor Marvin Rotrand suggested the Montreal police force was maintaining an invisible barrier to recruiting officer candidates from religious minorities, because there is no set policy on religious headgear.

The silence of the force, he says, creates that unofficial barrier.

"I don't buy the line that the SPVM puts forward, 'well, if people pressure us, we'll change our rules,'" Rotrand said. "I'm sorry. They should be changing their rules to be inclusive and welcoming."

Plante says she's always been supportive of the full participation from all backgrounds, in all fields. Last month, a 15-member advisory roundtable was appointed by the city to come up with a plan to increase the level of diversity and inclusion in the city. The panel is expected to report back within the year.

Other police forces in the country, including the RCMP, have officers wearing turbans or hijabs.