How $7 million in SPVM overtime could have bought a greener Montreal

It’s time for your weekly dose of environment news—student strike edition!

With university back in session, the cops are back on the beat, arresting protesters and racking up overtime. Radio Canada found the SPVM logged $5.6 million in overtime from February 1 to June 27, y’know, keeping track of protesters. As of July 13, it had reached $7.3 million.

Another story came out this month that the use of specially trained units at protests also cost a possible $2.5 to 3 million. So you can add that cost on too.

Here’s what the city could have gotten for its $7 million in overtime hours, or its $7 million more in anticipated overtime.

–       A dent in filling all those fucking potholes around the city. Apparently the city has between 35,000–50,000 potholes, which cost around $20 each to fill. Assuming the city’s construction bosses take a healthy cut, that’s still only $1 million. That leaves say, $6 million for the Rizutto family and city hall. Everybody wins!

–       5% of the funding ($107 million) needed to make repairs to 50 different infrastructure sites around the city, not counting the crumbling Turcot interchange. Way to go M-T-L planning department.

–       21 small WEMI industrial composters (more than one for each borough at $323,000 each!) or 9 large WEMI composters ($765,000 each)

–       Set up 155 10kW solar panel installations ($45,000 each) or 311 5kW solar installations ($22,500 each) on Montreal’s rooftops

–       The cost of most of Montreal’s new bike paths (or even more), which at $10 million will add 78 kilometres of bike path to 10 boroughs over the next few years.

–       Alternatively, Montreal could go the Chicago route and build some protected bike paths, which cost around $140,000 per mile (something like $86,992 per kilometre). So that’s 80 kilometres of protected bike lane.

–       10 more diesel electric buses, though the STM is already spending $471 million on a fleet of 509 more energy efficient buses between 2012 and 2014.

–       The salaries of the city’s 40 directors of the STM, which amount to $6.2 million, some of the highest paid civil servants in the city.

–       40% of a snowstorm – The cost of removal per snow-monsoon costs the city’s boroughs around $17 million.

–       1,400,000 size-small poutines from The Main, nearly one per resident. (200,000 or so would lose out, but you have to account for non-poutine aficionados and vegans)

And there you have it. Look at this list of things we could have accomplished, instead of chasing protesters around.


*Photo by davidcwong888 via Flickr (used under a Creative Commons license). 

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