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François Legault Called Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois 'Woke' & Got Ridiculed

Legault explained what "woke" means to him.

François Legault Called Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois 'Woke' & Got Ridiculed

Quebec Premier François Legault called Québec Solidaire (QS) spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois "woke" after Nadeau-Dubois compared him to former Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis.

"The premier did his best impression of Maurice Duplessis," Nadeau-Dubois said at the National Assembly on Wednesday evening, "by proclaiming himself the 'Father of the Quebec Nation.'"

What happened at the National Assembly?

Nadeau-Dubois said that Legault shouldn't assume that he can speak for all Quebecers.

"There are millions of Quebecers who are against Bill 21 [...] who don't support him or his government," said Nadeau-Dubois. "There are millions of us who are tired of him pretending to be our 'saviour and 'redeemer' [...] we are fed up of his sermons."

Legault angrily retorted that "there is a large majority of Quebecers who support Bill 21 and there are two multicultural parties [...] who are against Bill 21."

"The leader of Quebec Solidaire talks about Maurice Duplessis [...] the man had his faults but he defended the Quebec nation and wasn't 'woke' like the Quebec Solidaire leader."

Nadeau-Dubois then clapped back that "if the premier wants to bring the level of this discussion into the gutter, I won't follow him there."

"The premier doesn't have the right to expel Quebecers from the nation just because they disagree with him. He's a premier, not a monarch."

But who exactly was Maurice Duplessis?

Duplessis was twice elected Quebec premier from 1936 to 1939 and from 1944 to 1959.

Duplessis was against mandatory conscription for Quebecers during World War II but lost his premiership after calling a snap election. At the time, he was a heavy drinker and womanizer according to the Canadian Encyclopedia but quit drinking after a life-threatening bout with pneumonia and diabetes.

His second, 15-year long term as Quebec premier was more successful than his first. His government undertook enormous public works projects.

He was, however, especially harsh against workers' unions, according to the Encyclopedia, which also states corruption reached "legendary proportions" under his government

Quebecers who grew up during his reign took to calling this era in Quebec history "La Grande Noirceur," or "The Great Darkness."

According to the Canadian Encylopedia, Duplessis "had disdain for most contemporary concepts of civil liberties."

The aftermath

Nadeau-Dubois took to social media to poke fun at Legault's use of "woke," writing, "I don't know what François Legault has against woks," alongside a picture of himself with the cooking pot.

Legault doubled-down on using the term at a press conference on Thursday morning and even went on to define what he meant by "woke."

"For me, 'a woke' is someone who wants to make us feel guilty about defending the Quebec nation and its values," the premier said.

"I don't mind him calling me Duplessis but he is really on the other extreme [...] defending Quebec values doesn't interest him [...] that's why I called him 'woke.'"