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Quebec moves to shore up academic freedom with half-measures bill

State Media: 'Quebec's minister of higher education, Danielle McCann, tabled Bill 32 at the National Assembly Wednesday morning, defining academic freedom as "the right of every person to engage freely and without doctrinal, ideological or moral constraint" in all school-related activities. McCann said "any word" can be spoken in a university classroom, provided it's used in an academic context.

'"The question of academic freedom is fundamental," McCann said in a statement. "In the last few years, several troubling events brought our attention to this subject and one thing is clear: censorship has no place in our classrooms."

'The bill gives universities one year to adopt a policy to enforce this definition and to create a council to handle complaints and oversee the policy's implementation. They also need to appoint someone to be in charge of the whole process. If they don't do enough, the law would allow the minister to order schools to bolster their academic-freedom policies.'

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