Questioning the Judicial System: Judge in Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois' Case is Ex-Liberal Candidate
While poster-boy hockey players are bickering over contract issues, and our American neighbors are heading to the polls with Obama hoping for a re-election, here in Quebec, freedom of speech is strongly at stake.
Former CLASSE (Coalition large de l’ASSÉ) speaker Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was found guilty last Friday on accusations of encouraging students to break injunctions, the judge claiming he was endorsing anarchy. The issue- this is not quite the whole story.
The person who filed the lawsuit against Nadeau-Dubois is Université de Laval art student Jean-Francois Morasse, whose injunction was violated last spring in attempt to attend his courses. He claims he filed a case because he received threats from some who opposed him. Morasse has reportedly dropped out of school since.
Nadeau-Dubois’ lawyer did not allow him to speak at his own hearing earlier this fall, saying it shouldn’t be necessary, as there is no evidence against him.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois (CLASSE)
One flaw that is wrong with this picture, coincidence or not, is to note the judge representing the case, Denis Jacques, was a Liberal Party candidate in 2004. The same political party student groups protested against earlier this year.
From 'La Presse' Article in 2005
Due to this situation, Nadeau-Dubois risks facing to pay a $50,000 fine or one year in prison. Throughout the movement he was often the media’s target every time there would be scenes of violence or brutality at Quebec protests.
He has already garnished support from Toronto, where a protest of 3000 people took place over the weekend.
The real issue behind this case is he worries the example would evoke fear within other spokespersons from activists groups.
From one angle we can say they are eager to find someone to blame for the violation of injunctions, yet wouldn’t it be more logical to sue those who stood physically at the doors when Morasse attempted to head into the classroom?
From another angle we can say this is beyond the judicial system, yet a fear tactic against other student groups, environmental organizations, those opposed to the XL Pipeline, First Nations, and anyone who happens to have opinion against the government. Like it or not, this angle makes the story clearer. Sadly, this is a situation that is uncanny to the recent case against the band Pussy Riot, who were condemned in Russia for merely writing a song against President Vladimir Putin, or the Tank Man at Tiananmen Square, China, who has still not been found after blocking an army tank at a protest in 1989.
Is this what we have come to in a nation where Prime Minister Trudeau gave us the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for this very reason?
This is reminiscent of a simpler time in history, when the monarchy sent anyone supposedly guilty of treason to be publicly hanged, as a way to show others not to do the same. Although with Quebec being the province basking in the glow of protest since Les Patriotes in the 19th century, this certainly won’t phase those part of the current movement from speaking.
There is a website raising money to help for Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois’ legal bills, which can be found at http://appelatous.org/
Labels: Canada-Quebec Relations, candidate, classe, Education, elections 2012, Francophone, freedom of speech, gabriel nadeau dubois, judge, Justice, liberal party, quebec, rights, student movement