The smell of tear gas will eventually disappear from the streets of Montreal but the memories won’t. Tears will linger in the eyes of the earnest democratic reformers because personal hardships were endured, counterproductive violence occurred and an opportunity for progressive change was lost.
A parade of self-serving politicians will step forward to proclaim, “I will leave no stone unturned to prevent such deplorable acts of civil disorder from ever happening again!”
An army of fact-finding committees will be formed, endless meetings will debate irrelevant data and a mountain of worthless reports will be written. When the general public becomes bored with the never-ending buck-passing, the politicians and bureaucrats will slyly wink at each other and smile. The smiles will be cynical and knowing. Riotous Montreal’s lasting legacy: enthusiasm, trust and resources wasted; frustration, anger and corruption nurtured.