Former Quebec student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois will have to wait for a judge's decision on whether he committed contempt-of-court last May during the province's student crisis.
Nadeau-Dubois, a onetime spokesperson for the student group CLASSE and a principal figure in the student strike last spring, is accused of encouraging people to maintain picket lines at post-secondary campuses despite a court injunction.
Laval University student Jean-François Morasse had obtained the injunction to ensure he could still attend classes while striking students tried to shut them down. He made the accusation of contempt after hearing Nadeau-Dubois on CBC's French-language news channel last May.
Nadeau-Dubois told channel RDI that "it's legitimate for students to take the necessary means to respect the democratic choice that was made to go on strike."
He continued: "It's regrettable that there's a minority of students who are using the courts to try to get around the collective decision that was made. We think it's legitimate that people are taking the necessary steps so that the strike vote is respected. And if that requires picket lines, we think it's a legitimate means to do it."
Nadeau-Dubois's lawyer unsuccessfully tried to have the charge thrown out on Thursday, arguing that his client could not be in contempt because he was not specifically named in the injunction, and because there was no "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that he knew about it.
The trial went ahead Thursday and Friday in Quebec City, with Judge Denis Jacques reserving his decision. Possible penalties for contempt-of-court include jail time.
Nadeau-Dubois resigned as CLASSE spokesperson on Aug. 9.