Quebec university professor receives suspicious powder envelope

A professor from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, who sided with the government in a recent conflict with students received a threatening envelope on Monday filled with white powder.

Luc Godbout, a public finance professor at the school's Longueuil campus, argued that students should accept a government offer of increased bursaries and loans with an extended tuition hike period.

The envelope delivered to Godbout included a threat that the powder was anthrax. After Godbout opened the letter, one floor of the campus building was evacuated until the powder was determined to be harmless, the Sherbrooke Record reports.

"Nothing more than intimidation, more proof that the conflict has for a long time skidded out of control," Godbout said, according to the Sherbrooke Record. "It seems paradoxical to me to send this type of threat to a teacher who just wants to bring some light to this mess."

The incident is the latest in a series of similar powder-filled envelope mailings. On June 6, firefighters in Sherbrooke decontaminated six people after envelopes filled with powder were sent to multiple government offices. The powder was likewise found to be harmless in the previous incidents.

"The envelope also contained a letter stating that the white powder was anthrax," the university and its union of professors said, according to the Sherbrooke Record. "The police and firefighters had to evacuate an entire floor of the Longueuil building, disrupting the work of several employees, teachers and students. The Union of University of Sherbrooke Professors and the University of Sherbrooke management have united to strongly condemn this act of violence, which is to intimidate and frighten. A university is a place of learning where intellectual independence, freedom of expression and collegiality come before all else."