CUPE city workers and concerned citizens gathered outside Beloeil’s city hall Monday night to protest the suspension of CUPE 4750 president Johanne Gauthier. The suspension came as a direct result of comments she made before council opposing a planned P3 recreation centre - a presentation where she disclosed the results of a Leger Marketing poll, showing that a majority of citizens in Beloeil, Quebec, are opposed to a P3 recreation centre, and support a referendum on the question.
- Update: Gauthier brought back to work.
Clearly, this touched a nerve with some councillors. In a close four-to-three vote, council decided to discipline Gauthier for her criticism of the city, suspending her for one month without pay. Moreover, in a letter written to Gauthier, she was told that only her twenty-eight years of seniority and complete lack of any disciplinary record had protected her from further action.
Demonstrators expressed their outrage at the city’s attempts at intimidation and their continued opposition to the P3 project, and promised to be back in even larger numbers if the city kept trying to silence them.