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Booksellers’ group apologizes, republishes post outlining Quebec premier’s top reads

Quebec Premier Francois Legault walks to a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, November 5, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

An association of Quebec booksellers says it acted in haste when it removed an online list outlining reading recommendations from Premier François Legault.

Legault shared some of his favourite books during a Facebook live video last week as part of a campaign by the Association des libraires du Quebec to promote Quebec literature during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Legault’s video remained online, the association says it removed posts detailing the premier’s book list on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter on Friday — a move that drew criticism and accusations of censorship.

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The group’s president Katherine Fafard says today she made the decision to remove the posts too quickly after receiving a flood of comments, and she is apologizing for what she says was an error.

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A spokesman for Legault, Ewan Sauves, says the association received complaints about one of the titles Legault selected, and while Sauves called the situation regrettable, he welcomed the group’s decision to restore the premier’s list.

The Association des libraires du Quebec has 134 members, primarily independent book shops.