Senator apologizes for using notorious racial slur during committee hearing

Senator Andre Pratte has apologized for using a notorious racial slur during a Senate committee hearing, where he uttered the word as an example of an epithet that should never be used.

Pratte tells The Canadian Press that he was trying to make the point during Wednesday, May 17th's hearing that there are limits to free speech when speaking about people, especially those who are vulnerable and subject to discrimination.

Pratte says if he offended people by using the word in that context, he apologizes unreservedly.

Committee witnesses at the Senate legal affairs committee were making free speech arguments while debating the Liberal government's legislation to bar discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression.