François Gendron, the longest serving member of Quebec's legislature, apologized for using the N-word in front of a group of high school students last month.

The 73-year-old Parti Québécois MNA for Abitibi Ouest told the gathered students he "worked like an N****r".

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His statement was a response to being asked which ministry was the toughest he'd worked in.

Gendron went on to apologize to the school, adding that the word was inappropriate for modern times

However, his first reaction was far from contrite.

Initially, he downplayed the significance of the expression, claiming it had nothing to do with the African Canadian community.

He also accused the reporter of finding a tempest in a teapot.

Gendron was Quebec education minister in the 1980s and deputy premier between 2012 and 2014.

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