A handful of people who attended a demonstration against Quebec's proposed secular charter at Concordia University today said their protest posed no security risk.

Earlier this morning, Democratic Institutions Minister Bernard Drainville cancelled plans to participate in the debate at the university, citing the potential threat posed by a planned student demonstration. 

The debate went ahead as scheduled without Drainville, the minister responsible for the secular charter.

MNA Kathleen Weilopposition critic for employment and the social economy, and André Frappier, former president of Québec Solidaire, both attended the event. 

A small group of protesters gathered outside of the university's McConnnell building where the debate, organized by the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG), took place.

Earlier in the day, Drainville told reporters that he decided to pull out over safety concerns after his security personnel told him there was a risk of things getting out of hand.

The protesters said they had no plans to disrupt the event and there was no threat to Drainville's security. 

Demonstrators said they believe Drainville was afraid to speak at a campus, where the charter is largely opposed.