QPIRG Concordia Member Takes P-6 to Court

Jaggi Singh Appears in First Hearing to Render Bylaw Unconstitutional

Jaggi Singh speaks in front of the Palais des congrès during a protest against Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was giving a speech inside. Photo Brandon Johnston

A coordinator for a Concordia fee-levy group is gearing up to challenge Montreal municipal bylaw P-6 in court.

Jaggi Singh, Working Groups and Programming Coordinator for Concordia’s chapter of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group, appeared in municipal court this morning for a “pro forma” hearing, the first step in legally combatting P-6.

The bylaw renders protests illegal if a route is not provided to police, and prohibits demonstrators from concealing their faces.

Singh and his supporters, which include multiple community organizations including No One Is Illegal Montreal and the Anti-Capitalist Convergence, say they believe the bylaw is unconstitutional.

“If the police continue to issue P-6 tickets, and if city lawyers continue to pursue charges, then tactically the very validity of the P-6 bylaw should be challenged,” he said in a press release.

Singh was arrested and fined for a bylaw P-6 infraction on June 9, 2012 at a demonstration the same weekend as the Montreal Grand Prix.

Bylaw P-6 was amended last year during the student protests against tuition fee increases, but it was not heavily used until earlier this year.

Singh is due back in court in February, but says the challenging of P-6 will be ongoing outside of the courtroom.

“It’s not in the courts or at city hall that P-6 will be defeated, but in the streets, as community groups organizing demonstrations continue to openly defy the P-6 bylaw, and make it inapplicable by street-level resistance,” he said.