Massimo Bottura: misadventure with the Canadian police
Massimo Bottura: misadventure with the Canadian police

For a moment, Tuesday night, when he found himself with a police beacon aimed at him on a street in Montreal, Massimo Bottura he seriously thought he was in a spy movie.

But the cops' bellicose intentions depended only on the heavy hand that the Quebec government and the Canadian city police use to thwart Uber, in defense of taxi drivers.

Invited to Montreal by the Phi Center, which co-produced a documentary on one of the projects conceived by the Modenese chef to combat food waste, Bottura, his wife Lara and two collaborators are returning to the hotel after a dinner at the restaurant Le Vin Papillon, in rue Notre Dame, when the police stop the vehicle in which they travel.

There is an abrupt search by a particular police force called the City Taxi inspector, that is, personnel assigned to control taxis. A growing phenomenon with the explosion of services such as Uber, where private individuals make their services available bypassing official channels.

In reality the chef is not using Uber's services, he has simply rented a minivan for commuting.

With an unpleasant and intimidating behavior, the policemen oppose the request to explain the reasons for the arrest in English, for several minutes Bottura and his people, none of whom speak French, are unable to understand what is happening.

The mishap left its mark: at first Bottura said he was shocked by the incident.

I had the impression of being in a police state, he told the reporter of The presses who gathered the testimony. In addition to being treated roughly, Bottura claims the ways inspectors have them petrified.

The taxi company invited Bottura to file a complaint against the unacceptable behavior of the policemen, but the chef from Modena gave up.

They have every right to control, but controls are one thing, it is quite another to turn into aggressive bullies who intimidate people.

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