Former student leader sentenced to community service

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was sentenced to community service after the court found him guilty of contempt stemming from comments made during a live interview with Radio-Canada.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is appealing the decision

Former CLASSE spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said he would appeal the court's decision to sentence him to community service. (CBC)

One of the main leaders of the Quebec student movement was sentenced to community service after the court found him guilty of contempt over comments he made during a live interview with Radio-Canada.

Judge Denis Jacques ruled Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois will have to serve 120 hours of community service for contempt of court.

The case stems from allegations that Nadeau-Dubois encouraged students to ignore a court injunction obtained by Jean-Francois Morasse, a student at Laval University, that allowed them to return to class during the student crisis.

Nadeau-Dubois was found guilty of contempt of court on Nov. 1 after the judge rulled Nadeau-Dubois encouraged people to maintain picket lines at post-secondary campuses despite a court injunction.

Judge Jacques also said Nadeau-Dubois was inciting people to ignore the court injunction during an interview with Radio-Canada in May.

At the time, the former spokesman for the militant student association, CLASSE,  said it was 'legitimate' for students to block access to classes with picket lines.

During sentencing arguments Wednesday, Nadeau-Dubois' lawyer, Giuseppe Sciortino, quoted Voltaire and argued that civil disobedience is socially acceptable. Judge Jacques disagreed.

The judge criticized Nadeau-Dubois for using his high profile in the student movement to encourage people to disrespect an order of the court.

He also made direct reference to a speech Nadeau-Dubois gave to hundreds of students last April. At the time, the student leader said "no one should be swayed by the injunctions of idiots whose parents were rich enough to pay for lawyers."

Nadeau-Dubois has six months to complete his hours of community service, but he said he would be appealing the judge's decision, before he began that service.