To my mind, the image of the Nice Canadian is best debunked by another son of Montreal, the scientist Steven Pinker, who recalled in his 2002 book The Blank State:
‘At 8:00 A.M. on October 17, 1969 … the Montreal police went on strike.
By 11:20 A.M. the first bank was robbed. By noon most downtown stores had closed because of looting. Within a few more hours, taxi drivers burned down the garage of a limousine service that competed with them for airport customers, a rooftop sniper killed a provincial police officer, rioters broke into several hotels and restaurants, and a doctor slew a burglar in his suburban home.
By the end of the day, six banks had been robbed, a hundred shops had been looted, twelve fires had been set, forty carloads of storefront glass had been broke, and three million dollars of property damage had been inflicted, before city authorities had to call in the army and, of course, the Mounties to restore order.’