Trudeau calls University of Ottawa professor's remarks 'Quebec bashing'

The prime minister has backed up Quebec Premier Legault after a University of Ottawa professor condemned Legault's CAQ as a "white supremacist government" and too tolerant of racism.

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's had enough of "Quebec bashing" following controversial remarks from a University of Ottawa professor.

At a press conference Monday, he and Quebec Premier François Legault said they were disappointed the institution's president opted not to condemn online comments from law professor Amir Attaran, who claims the province is led by "a white supremacist government" and too tolerant of racism.

The two leaders weighed in after the University of Ottawa opted not to apologize to the Parti Québécois for Attaran's posts.

Jacques Frémont, the university's president, said in a letter to PQ leader Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon on Sunday that the institution does not share Attaran’s opinions, but that they were were posted on his personal social media account and thus not subject to sanction, as course lectures might be.

The PQ leader had asked for an apology following recent remarks from Attaran, who on Twitter has called Quebec’s culture racist, dubbed it the Alabama of the north and accused Quebec nurses of "medical lynching" in regard to Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Indigenous woman who died in a Quebec hospital in 2020.

In the House of Commons on Monday, Bloc Québécois MP Alain Therrien said the posts — and the university's response — demonstrate Quebecers are a minority that remains subject to "hate speech without any consequences."

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