Nadeau-Dubois pressured to say racial slur during Quebec election debate
During a one-on-one discussion as part of the French-language debate Thursday night on TVA, Québec Solidaire (QS) Spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was pressured by Parti Québécois (PQ) Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon to say a racial slur.
The conversation circulated around the idea of academic freedom and where lines should be drawn when it comes to freedom of expression.
"I think that is up to students and teachers," Nadeau-Dubois states. "I think all ideas are allowed to be said, are allowed to be debated; books should be read and debated."
When asked by TVA moderator Pierre Bruneau if certain books should be banned, St-Pierre Plamondon states freedom of speech, art and expression are fundamental parts of democracy, and people shouldn't be insulted for having different views.
Nadeau-Dubois responds by saying he agrees, noting as a society, we should be able to debate such ideas -- and accept constructive criticism of our values.
"All of this is part of academic freedom," he adds before Bruneau interrupts him to ask if he was ready to name such examples of controversial academic works -- "the book by Pierre Vallières, for example."
Pierre Vallières, a Quebec journalist and writer, is renowned as an intellectual leader of the Front de libération du Québec who wrote a book titled N----- blancs d'Amérique (White n------ of America).
"It's not about banning words or banning books," Nadeau-Dubois fires back. "It's normal for there to be debates because society changes and mentalities evolve."
Once again, the QS spokesperson is cut off, this time by St-Pierre Plamondon, who pressures him to name Vallières' book.
"Are you capable of stating the title of this book?" he asks.
"Of course," Nadeau-Dubois answers, stating the book's full title.
He then mused whether the PQ leader is attacking him personally before attempting to swerve the conversation to the lack of teachers in schools.
The argument is cut short when time runs out on the subject.