Quebec Premier François Legault, took to Facebook this weekend to voice his concerns on the growing problem of cancel culture, woke leftism and “radical militants” in the province.
Legault said, “Freedom of expression is one of the pillars of our democracy. If we compromise on that, we risk having undue censorship spilling out into our political debates and our media.”
Legault's Facebook post stated that he had heard a lot about academic freedom and free speech, and mentioned that he was troubled by an October incident at the University of Ottawa, where professor Verushka Lieutenant-Duval faced intense backlash for saying an offensive word during a class discussion. He claimed the story had been completely spun out of context and Lieutenant-Duval was harassed, threatened, and doxed by leftist students who wanted her fired.
Quebec's Premier stated that cancel culture is the work of a handful of radical activists whose goal is to censor certain words and actions. He added that he is concerned that cancel culture is infiltrating the mainstream in Quebec, and that this American movement does not represent the values of Quebecers.
Legault went on to talk about recent incidents of cancel culture and woke leftism in Quebec, specifically in the province's post secondary institutions. This included professors being asked not to use the works of some of Quebec's great writers, which included Anne Hébert, Réjean Ducharme, Dany Laferrière ou Pierre Vallières.
“What is really worrying is that more and more people are feeling intimidated and will engage in censoring,” Legault said.
Another incident mentioned by the Premier included a university faculty member who was denounced and harassed by leftist students for using the words "man" and "woman." Lagault said that all of this is absurd, goes too far, and goes against the concept of University, which is supposed to be a place that is open to all viewpoints.
Legault added that it is time to for have a serious discussion about cancel culture, political correctness, and wokeness. He said that while he acknowledges some words are hurtful, that does not justify having a radical mob that wants to dictate to everyone what to say via mass censorship.
He continued by stating that people must support those who feel intimidated to share their views due to this new intolerant culture, and that we must be there to defend people who choose to express themselves, because freedom of speech is one of the pillars of democracy.
The Premier said that if cancel culture isn't challenged, people soon won't be able to talk about anything, including important subjects like immigration. Legault said his government will put in place policies to tackle cancel culture and preserve free speech and Quebec's heritage.
The province plans to start by addressing the problems in universities, with the Premier revealing that Minister of Higher Education Danielle McCann is working with heads of universities to quickly develop free speech policies that will protect students and professors from cancel culture.
Legault finished his post by saying that if the majority stand up against cancel culture, the woke radicals will realize that they are the minority, and the population will no longer be scared. He signed off "Bon samedi tout le monde. Votre premier ministre."