French-language lobby group calls for boycott of retailers

Posted By: Laura Casella · 10/15/2012 11:46:00 AM

A French nationalist lobby group is calling on people to boycott several big retailers that refuse to add a French description to their name.

Mario Beaulieu is president of the Société St-Jean Baptiste. He says he has difficulty understanding why a group of multi-national retailers would refuse to use a French generic in their name.

"It's not a huge demand," he says, "it is not like we are asking them to change their name completely to French."

Best Buy, Costco, the Gap, Old Navy, Guess and Walmart are going before a Quebec Superior Court judge next week to argue against repeated requests by the province's language authorities to use a French generic in their name.

Beaulieu says until they respect Bill 101 on signage, people should stop shopping at these stores.

"For us even if a small percentage of people boycott these retailers, it will have an impact."

Beaulieu adds it is a question of respect on the part of these retailers toward their Quebec customers. 

WALMART photo:  Margoe Edwards

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  1. Wayne posted on 10/15/2012 12:08 PM
    Tell Mr. Beaulieu to stay in Quebec City, this is so childish, no wonder no one wants to come to Quebec to shop or live anymore. it's ashame, also I am ashame to be a Quebecer.
  2. Claire posted on 10/15/2012 12:10 PM
    Does Mr. Beaulieu not realize that the employees that work at these stores, need their paychecks to pay rent and feed themselves and their families. Obviously he does not have to worry about where his next meal is coming from!!! Get a real job Mr. Beaulieu.
  3. Joe posted on 10/15/2012 12:14 PM
    GO AWAY and take your zealots with you. Hope these stores lose in court then fold up put thousands out of work and then personally thank Mr. Beaulieu for losing their jobs for such an idiotic argument that he actually thinks will make a difference so more people will speak french. Once again I call on the big wheel (not Pauline Marois) i mean JF (ive worn the other shoe) Lisee step in and say leave these stores alone so the Anglais will know what store they are shopping at lol lol
  4. SharonB_9056 posted on 10/15/2012 12:28 PM
    People will not stop shopping at these places just because Saint John the Baptist Society says so. If these people are not careful there will be no big stores in Quebec anymore.I suppose that would be good for Ontario, NB, and the States
  5. XquebeKer posted on 10/15/2012 12:28 PM
    Maybe the multi-nationals should close their stores, pack up and take their employment and tax dollars with them?

    Qc is now officially the "red headed step child laughing stock of the barrel".
  6. aaron posted on 10/15/2012 12:38 PM
    I am fed up with french this and french that . There is absolutely nothing unique and/or special about the peoples of Quebec and fully support all efforts by these retailers to challenge any and all demands made by these radicals.
  7. CJ posted on 10/15/2012 12:45 PM
    Go ahead Mario Beaulieu you moron...have them boycott them, When they close their doors and pack up and leave, The Societe St-Jean de Yahoos! will be singing another tune...

    CJ
  8. danielt17 posted on 10/15/2012 12:47 PM
    How do you translate Costco and Walmart? They are not even proper english words. Good Job SSJB, now investors have even more reasons not to invest in Quebec, let alone Montreal. Thank you for turning my province into a future ghetto.
    1. Karl posted on 10/18/2012 02:21 PM
      @danielt17 From what I have read, the artifice, for that pseudo translation, is to put "Le magasin" in front of those names.

      I am not against bill 101, however I concede that this kind of questionable implementation weakens the rationality of that bill. Company names should be left intact. Originally they were looking at some names that made me cringe: For instance "Deuxième Tasse" for Second Cup! From that perspective, would 7-Up become "Sept en haut" ? (Ouch!!!) Or would Microsoft become "Petit Mou" or "Petite Molle" ??? (Ouch! Ouch!!!)

      The bottom line is that this type of mad punctiliousness only rubs many people the wrong way, thus is non productive.
  9. Laqtus posted on 10/15/2012 12:48 PM
    Better yet, how about these retailers boycott QUEBEC? Let's see what an impact THAT would have on the province, specifically the communities they serve. Don't worry about those hundreds / thousands of jobs that will be lost.
  10. Michael B posted on 10/15/2012 12:58 PM
    Let me guess. The Quebec courts will grant the OQLF's request and for these retailers to add a French descriptor. Duh...you're going to court in "Québec" where all the judges are biased towards the French language.
    The lie about French being in danger is so engrained now that even the judges believe this lie.
    Here's proof it's a lie:
    1) A recent study, by the OQLF themselves, indicates that 97% of businesses in Montreal offer French. Do you think in 1970, 80 or 90 businesses were able to offer French as much - No way.
    2) A recent study by the Quebec Govt indicates that 76% of anglophones are bilingual. Do you think prior to 1970, 80 or 90, that percentage was higher.
    3) Since the beginning of Bill 101, all immigrants were forced to attend French schools, therefore the amount of immigrants who can speak French is obviously way more today than ever before.
    4) Since the vast majority of Quebec companies are owned by francophones, and the vast majority of anglophone companies or companies opened by immigrant or allophones and since all companies with 50 employees or more now must work in French, that also means that the use of French has increased dramatically.

    French in danger ?? Not a chance but if you repeat a lie long enough, people will believe it.
    Time for the courts to wake up to the reality and stop listening to these hardline Nationalists who are hell bent on removing English from Quebec.
  11. Michael B posted on 10/15/2012 01:00 PM
    Let me guess. The Quebec courts will grant the OQLF's request and force these retailers to add a French descriptor. Duh...you're going to court in "Québec" where all the judges are biased towards the French language.
    The lie about French being in danger is so engrained now that even the judges believe this lie.
    Here's proof it's a lie:
    1) A recent study, by the OQLF themselves, indicates that 97% of businesses in Montreal offer French. Do you think in 1970, 80 or 90 businesses were able to offer French as much - No way.
    2) A recent study by the Quebec Govt indicates that 76% of anglophones are bilingual. Do you think prior to 1970, 80 or 90, that percentage was higher.
    3) Since the beginning of Bill 101, all immigrants were forced to attend French schools, therefore the amount of immigrants who can speak French is obviously way more today than ever before.
    4) Since the vast majority of Quebec companies are owned by francophones, and the vast majority of anglophone companies or companies opened by immigrant or allophones and since all companies with 50 employees or more now must work in French, that also means that the use of French has increased dramatically.

    French in danger ?? Not a chance but if you repeat a lie long enough, people will believe it.
    Time for the courts to wake up to the reality and stop listening to these hardline Nationalists who are hell bent on removing English from Quebec.
    1. Rudolph S posted on 10/15/2012 04:12 PM
      @Michael B ...and do you remeber when Marois during her propaganda runs said that she was not able to order a meal in french in a Montreal restaurant....that was also empty rhetorik, and full of S..... today any greassy spoon joint offers service en francais. These people do and say anything to poison the young people with their separatist propaganda How about of some of the big Retailers with their forbidden english names say..we do not need this kind of S....... lets move out, the Employees ans Suppliers will stand at the UIC line and wave adieu....
    2. SharonB_9056 posted on 10/15/2012 10:36 PM
      @Michael B do you ever think that the high courts in Quebec are also run by separatists? I believe so.
  12. Andre posted on 10/15/2012 01:10 PM
    I sure hope they win and SSJB lose big time !! This is a company name for God's sakes !!!!! Tis i at call being more catholica thanthe Pope himself. If they want to be that stupid about it there is a lot of the French-Quebec vocabulary that would need to be rewritten as there is A LOT of anglicism in the language spoken in Quebec !! I know, I am one of them. Time to quite bein stupid about useless suff and take care of real issues
  13. RoV posted on 10/15/2012 01:49 PM
    They would rather bycott Stores that save you money , but not the Gas giants who take it openly?
    Respectful Businesses should serve everyone with no distinction of race or Language..
    How would you make Walmart easier to understand?...MartWal?
    Or "Le Magasin de Mur de specials"
    Thats an energy saver right there !?
  14. Ilfis posted on 10/15/2012 02:14 PM
    I for one will join all the Quebecers shopping across the border at these retailers, and will save myself a signifcant amount of sales tax by doing do. A bonus is that by filling up across the border, it will cost me nothing to make the trip.
  15. Sandra posted on 10/15/2012 02:26 PM
    Mr. Mario Beaulieu....
    Try and tell us in the "Real World" that you have never shopped at the stores that you want your francophone people in Quebec to boycott? Go ahead and scare more business out of Quebec. Soon you will only have Labatt and La Poutinerie as business here. Please get a Real Job.
  16. and posted on 10/15/2012 02:45 PM
    MORONS!!!!!!!!!! quebec is like a tiny grain of sand demanding that the ocean not get it wet!
  17. sam posted on 10/15/2012 02:47 PM
    hahahahaha.. alrighty then.. ok go ahead boycott these stores.. what was there like 200 of you who protested this back a few months ago... I am sure the store's going to have a HUGE loss because of that.. NOT.

    I sometimes wonder.. do these seperatists choose items out of a hat in which to protest or do each day? Hmm.. lets hit walmart.. ok lets post signs in the metro stations.. It's hilarious really.. Keep it up I love the laughter.
    I for one will not stop shopping there .. So what if their sign is english.. most of these stores don't even have a lick of english anywhere on their flyers or in store anyways. but you don't see us throwing tantrums..
    Since we're on the subject of language.. I would like all you seperatists to stop using the words HAMBURGER and HOTDOG when you order fast food.. If you want to complain I can to. You want to stop english then stop using it.
  18. alrev posted on 10/15/2012 02:59 PM
    When Anglos in Quebec get some respect you might get some back!
  19. alrev posted on 10/15/2012 03:12 PM
    I wonder what would happen if all these stores closed for a period of time and put their employees on the street.
  20. Ben posted on 10/15/2012 03:15 PM
    Oqlf should be shut down and stop wasting our money. This is an insult to our intelligence. Like french people cant figure out what wal-mart is about.
  21. paulnali posted on 10/15/2012 03:17 PM
    Oh, brother! Respect? Here we go again.
  22. Angela posted on 10/15/2012 04:17 PM
    Respect... I won't change my name or add accents to it in order to please you... neither should any company !

    Respect is not a one way street. Respect the names of these companies. They are the ones who created them and worked hard to get where they are, not you.

    I say, boycott anything coming from Quebec, like the Circle du Soleil, until they stop their bullying.

    Do we as Loréal to add English to their name? No, because we are not racist like some people are.
  23. Rudolph S posted on 10/15/2012 04:23 PM
    ...lets go especially to these stores and buy what you need, get your beer at Costco and not at the Couche Tard, your electronics at Best Buy instead of La Source (formerly Radio Shack...) Stuff that into your pipe Beaulieu !
  24. JT posted on 10/15/2012 04:59 PM
    What I would do if I was president of one of these companines, and lost the court case in Quebec is that rather than change my company name, I would tell the government in open court that if I am to lose, I am closing all of my stores and laying off all of my Quebec employees.

    I think then we might see some action taken by the government in order to protect copyrighted names.
  25. Lindsay posted on 10/15/2012 05:02 PM
    And now Quebec will realise that they are nothing in the grand scheme of things. I seriously hope that this gets denied because it will go straight to the separtists heads otherwise. Quebec is a tiny little thing compared to the rest of the world and the likes of Walmart and Bestbuy shouldn't bend over and take it because the French are paranoid.

    And I highly doubt that anyone will boycott - people are more concerned about saving money than what is written on the outside of a store.

    Idiots
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