Legault says lack of French in Montreal businesses is 'totally unacceptable'

Nov 17 2020, 7:26 am

François Legault says it is “totally unacceptable” that citizens are unable to be served in French in Montreal shops, businesses, and restaurants.

Referencing a Journal de Montréal article published last week, Legault says he promises to fix the “problem,” stating that Bill 101 “clearly says” that French is the official language of business throughout Quebec.

During Monday’s press conference tabling Quebec’s green recovery plan, Legault says he did not like what he saw in the Journal’s “investigation made public over the last few days on the situation of French in Montreal.”

Legault says Simon Jolin-Barrette, Quebec’s Minister Responsible for the French language, has “already presented a plan to the caucus and the cabinet,” and that the government “will fix it.”

The publication’s investigation reported that 16 out of 31 downtown Montreal businesses visited by investigators greeted them in “unilingual” English, using “hi” instead of the government-mandated “bonjour-hi.”

In some cases, Legault said it is “impossible” to be served in French, even when customers ask for French-only service.

The premier says the government is “polishing” the new plan and will make it public soon. “There will be a significant part to ensure we are served in French in Montreal business,” he said.

In a tweet last week, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says the situation of the French language has her worried. She called on the Quebec government, saying that “an action plan” is needed.

“I read this report and this is not acceptable. In Montreal, clients must be able to get served in French. Period,” said Legault.

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