After cops shut down NDG Park screenings of Habs games, Montgomery vows to fight for hockey fans

While many in the city have been dazzled by the Canadiens' unexpected playoff run, not everyone is a fan of an attempt to screen game four of the Stanley Cup Finals in Notre-Dame-de-Grace Park.

According to posts in the Thrive NDG Facebook group, the problem started before Friday's game three of the Habs' series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. On Friday, one member posted a letter reportedly from the supervisor of a local police precinct, in which they told organizers that they did not have a permit to hold a screening of the game in the park. The supervisor warned that without a permit, there would be “no tolerance” of the event.

In her own post, Cote-des-Neiges-NDG Mayor Sue Montgomery said she had been informed of the cancellation and apologized to those who had been looking forward to going to the park to watch the game.

“At the borough level, we decided that we would allow these screenings to take place exceptionally due to the circumstances of the pandemic,” she wrote. “We asked that the police keep an eye on the crowd and to make sure the event remained orderly, not that it be cancelled. The police have decided otherwise and have not returned my calls to discuss a compromise.”

On Sunday, while commenting on another post in the Facebook group, Montgomery said she was “trying her best” to ensure the screening would be allowed to take place.

“I am calling the police commander and the borough director to a meeting tomorrow because I certainly want to allow residents to enjoy the game together,” she wrote.

One critic of Montgomery's comments is city councillor Marvin Rotrand. In an email to CTV News, he accused the mayor of ignoring public health regulations against large gatherings and of helping the event go forward without a permit.

“Her behaviour seems aimed at encouraging flouting the law,” he wrote.

Rotrand also noted that the organizers “do not have the permission of the Montreal Canadiens to rebroadcast their games.” 

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