A driver of the STM suspended for having distributed the flags of Quebec

News 23 March, 2018
  • Patrick Bellerose

    Friday, march 23, 2018 11:55

    Friday, 23 march 2018 11:59

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    A driver of the transport Company of Montreal has been suspended without pay for a day, because he had distributed pamphlets and flags of Quebec.

    On the 19th of January last, Paul-André Desbiens distributed “pamphlets as well as mini flags of Quebec” on the tables in the staff lounge, for the Day of the flag two days later.

    It has also distributed about 50 of these pamphlets on buses and vehicles of the head of the operation who found themselves in a garage of the STM.

    In a letter advising Paul-André Desbiens of his suspension, the chief operating officer of the transportation Center, Frontenac, Alexandre Cadieux, writing that the STM has “had to deploy quickly a head of operation in order to remove all vehicles and before the release of the pamphlets you have distributed [sic], which has generated additional costs.”

    Political gesture

    “We consider that the distribution of these flags and pamphlets are used as expressions of your political beliefs personal going against the image non-partisan, the STM wants to give,” says the head of operations.

    This last request to Paul-André Desbiens is “limited to the tasks of a bus driver and to stop immediately [sic] any political action in any form whatsoever, including but without limitation, any comment or view on the history of Quebec and its political representatives”.

    As a result, the bus driver has received a suspension without pay for a day on February 20. “Be aware that if other events of the kind occurred, disciplinary measures more severe would apply,” adds the head of operations in his letter.


    For its part, the syndicate of bus drivers of the STM has confirmed that a grievance has been filed with the department to contest the disciplinary action, but did not want to comment directly on the case of Paul-André Desbiens.

    The STM has also refused to comment on “the case for a particular employee, since it is a question of governance”.

    For his part, the president of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste grieves the penalty imposed on the driver of the STM. “Since when distribute, or otherwise make the promotion of the flag is a political action ?, demand Maxime Laporte. The Quebec flag represents all the people of quebec.”