Quebec minister says she's sorry if she hurt artists' feelings for insulting red square | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Quebec minister says she's sorry if she hurt artists' feelings for insulting red square

Quebec Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre, centre, is applauded by government members after she apologized for comments she made over Quebec artists wearing the red square in support to students at the legislature in Quebec City on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

QUEBEC - A Quebec cabinet minister delivered a curt apology Wednesday for linking the symbol of the province's protest movement to violence and intimidation.

"If people were hurt by my comments I'm sorry," Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre told reporters in a brief scrum before heading into question period.

The minister had been fielding a barrage of condemnation from her opponents, and from artists, for comments she made earlier in the week.

She had tied the red square to violence and intimidation after a prominent artist had refused to come to the national assembly to accept an award — as knight of the National Order of Quebec.

Storyteller Fred Pellerin said he was bursting with pride over the recognition but that, after thinking about it for a while, he decided he would have felt guilty for accepting such a prize while Quebec was embroiled in a social crisis.

It was in reaction to Pellerin's decision that the minister made the comments. Her opponents expressed outrage in the legislature.

There was also a front-page story in Montreal Le Devoir on Wednesday headlined, "Artists Outraged By Minister St-Pierre," describing an unprecedented move by 2,600 artists to sign a public letter, demanding an apology.

There have been broken windows at protests and many scuffles with police — but the majority of demonstrations, and the vast majority of demonstrators, have been peaceful.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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