University should have defended professor in debate over offensive language: Legault

Click to play video: 'Legault says university should have defended professor in debate over offensive language' Legault says university should have defended professor in debate over offensive language
During a press conference in Quebec City to address the province's COVID-19 response, Premier François Legault was asked to weigh in on the controversy at the University of Ottawa surrounding the use of offensive language in the classroom – Oct 20, 2020

Quebec Premier François Legault says the University of Ottawa should have defended a professor who used a derogatory word for Black people in class.

A student complained that part-time professor Verushka Lieutenant-Duval used the notorious word late last month in class to explain how some communities had reclaimed terms over time.

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The incident has sparked vocal disagreement between some students and faculty in a case that pits academic freedom and open dialogue against the rights and sensitivities of those in the classroom.

Lieutenant-Duval apologized upon receiving the complaint and invited her students at the university, attended by many francophones, to discuss the issue in their next class.

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Legault says the professor wanted to raise an important subject, not insult anybody.

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He says in places of higher learning it is important that all subjects be open for debate.

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