With the introduction of Bill 3, the safety and security of Montrealers now carries a significant financial burden that has, by many accounts, become too expensive for taxpayers. Yesterday, when I feared for my safety, I was faced with the question: what is my life worth?
Just after parking my car on a downtown street corner at 6am, I heard shouting behind me. When I stepped out of the car, there were 4 men perhaps 50 feet away from me screaming at one another and one of them had a brick in his hand. They saw me so I calmly turned to walk away from them when one of them began driving my way with a minivan, I had no cellphone. My heart began to race; if I began to run, maybe they would chase me, were they fighting over drugs or was I their next target? I had no idea what to do next. Out of nowhere, a police-car came barreling around the corner, splitting the 4 men up, three going one way, and one the other, running for his van that he had stepped out of. A split second later, another policeman ran after the solitary man on foot and he was caught before he could get into the van. Great, but what about the other three? Not two minutes later, as I walked up the hill towards work, the three men were there in front of me acting as if nothing happened. I froze, then 4 police cruisers and a van came racing around the corner and cut the three men off. 4 cops burst out of the van screaming “get on the ground” to the three men with their tazers ready. The men resisted and they were subdued quickly. There were no gunshots, just policemen doing their incredibly difficult and dangerous jobs, protecting and serving us. All I could think of was how glad I was to see those cops and after watching how professionally they subdued those 4 men, it struck me that we really don’t appreciate them as much as we should. Is my life worth more than 77,000$ a year, the high-end salary for a policeman in Montreal?
A few years ago, my backyard deck burned down when I was at work. Someone called the fire department and they came and squelched the flames before they could have a chance to burn my house down. What is that worth?
As a taxpayer, I would gladly pay even more taxes to keep policemen and firefighters from effectively having their pensions and salaries decreased. They are already underpaid for the jobs they do and we should not be forcing them to lose money as they are saving our lives.