Minister's comments about 'Bonjour-Hi' debate spark backlash from English speakers

Dec 8 2017, 2:27 pm

Comments about the Bonjour-Hi debate made by Minister Kathleen Weil of the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce riding on Wednesday were met by criticism from English speakers.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Weil, who is the Minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers, said that voters in her riding who complained about the motion didn’t fully understand it.

She said that the constituents “have trouble” following what is happening at the National Assembly.

She went to say that anger English-speaking residents had towards her and other MNAs would be resolved if they understood the motion properly.

Her comments have set off many English-speakers in her riding who argue the “Bonjour-Hi” greeting is welcoming and inclusive in a city that they believe is supposed to be bilingual.

Last week, the legislature officially voted unanimously on the Parti Québécois (PQ) motion calling on store clerks to stick with a simple “bonjour” when addressing customers rather than the hybrid “bonjour, hi.”

The PQ stated that far too many people are speaking both French and English to customers, and that “bonjour” is one of the most recognized words in the French language and that this move reaffirms that French is Quebec’s official language.

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