Political opponents are slamming Montreal’s mayor over allegations that bonuses are doled out to senior police officers for the number of traffic tickets levied on drivers, an issue they’ve dubbed “Bonis Denis.”
Projet Montreal mayoral candidate Valerie Plante is calling on Mayor Denis Coderre to ensure tickets are issued for infractions, not in the pursuit of better pay. Plante claims to have documents that show the police department handed out $350,000 in bonuses in the 2016.
Police managers in the city can get up to $12,000 per year in annual bonuses, depending on factors including the number of arrests, emergency response speed, and the number of traffic tickets issued by their subordinates, according to a policy implemented in 2015.
Coderre has long insisted there is no problem with the current compensation framework. He says there are no quotas or bonuses to motivate officers. Earlier this year, the city said it occasionally pays bonuses to police commanders for their broader management skills, not ticket volume.
“If you take a look at it, there is no such thing as quotas,” Coderre told reporters on Monday. “There is a level of efficiency, and there are tens of criteria about how to fulfil your job, and that is it.”
Coderre also disputes the $350,000 bonus figure cited by Plante.
Plante has made the issue a cornerstone of her run for office ahead of the mayoral election early next month.
“We believe that police officers should be giving tickets when it makes sense, not because there is money attached to that,” she said. “I think he (Coderre) is in denial, or maybe he doesn’t know what his administration is doing.”
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Tarah Schwartz