October 27, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Franకోois Legalt speaks on censorship and freedom of expression

Franకోois Legalt speaks on censorship and freedom of expression

Prime Minister Franకోois Legalt on Saturday morning was encouraged by radical groups to speak out about the dangers of censorship of certain words or writings, which could harm freedom of expression in the province.

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“It simply came to our notice then. The situation is getting out of hand. I think the time has come for all of us to have a serious discussion together, ”the Prime Minister wrote in a Facebook post released on Saturday morning.

Franయిois Legalt, who returned last September in the case of the suspension of Professor Verushka Lieutenant-Duval at the University of Ottawa, said he was concerned about provocative self-censorship after intimidation attempts.

He said he experienced it this fall after being criticized for sharing a book written by Matthew Bock-Cote on a reading instruction list.

Although he noted the need to question certain regulations that offend communities, he argued that this did not justify sacrificing freedom of expression.

“Between injury and censorship, we must draw a line,” he said in his message.

For the Prime Minister, this issue starts from the university benches, where many professors are asked not to talk about certain works of Quebec literature, quoting authors such as Anne Hebert, Region Ducharm, Danny LaFerrier or Pierre Valliers.

He argues that Higher Education Minister Daniel McCann is currently looking into the issue in order to work quickly in the academy.

“Our universities should be places of respectful discussion, uncensored debate and the search for truth, even when the truth is shocking or provocative. We are going to do what is necessary for our universities to protect our freedom of expression,” he stressed.

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Mr. Legalt encourages Quebeckers to refuse “threats of minority radicals.”

“Freedom of expression is one of the pillars of our democracy. If we start compromising on this, we will see the same censorship in our media, in our political debates. We do not want to say anything more,” he said.