In mid May, an audience gathered outside of Laval University where Patrick Provost attended a hearing which was to determine whether his no-pay suspensions were justified. All of the exchanges during the process was to be 100 percent confidential since the hearing did an exclusion of the witnesses.
Only one source of media was on the scene, Le SOLEIL.
“It's really really sad that no other mass media or traditional media other than Le SOLEIL newspaper are following my arbitration.” expressed Patrick Provost.
This whole arbitration started after his union filed a grievance against the two suspensions that the Laval University imposed on Provost, following two different complaints against him. The two complaints were made against some words that Patrick Provost had pronounced outside of his duty.
The first one was during a press conference with another specialist about the vaccination among children and the second one was about an interview made on Radio X.
The atmosphere was really tense among the people. Julie Lévesque, an independent journalist, was there to report on Provost’s case.
"It feels like the inquisition, but at the same time, I mean, he's being interrogated by the the lawyer of the university," Lévesque said.
"Well, it's a controversial issue that's being dealt with. So obviously, I'm not surprised that there are, you know, a few objections and suspensions,” she added.
Patrick Provost will need to follow the hearing probably until next year. The goal is to determine if the two suspensions imposed on Provost were legitimate or not.
For only having exercised his right of academic freedom and freedom of speech, Mr. Provost already received a lot of sanction.
“Instead of following the mission of the university, to not only acquire knowledge but also to engage in scientific communication or public communications, they just brought that in front of justice. Now, I've been accused of not following the good practice of research, whereas my interventions were public communications," concluded Provost.