Montreal man claims he was humiliated at license office

Posted By: Luciano Pipia · 1/18/2013 9:25:00 PM

A Montreal man says he was humiliated at a license bureau in front of his family.

Mohamed Amin spoke English at the S-A-A-Q outlet on Decarie.

He told the Barry Morgan show he intervened after his wife failed to get a bureau worker to address her in English.

"I told her why are you doing this to us, in front of everyone", Amin told the show.

"Why it's so lovely to you to see us being like that. And then she answered me, with a very cold bood, tu est in Quebec, you are in Quebec, you have to address me in French. And I told her listen to me, my lady, I'm in Canada. The official two languages, English and French" Amin went on to say.

Amin added he pays taxes and therefore should be addresed in either official language with respect.

He also says the worker then looked at him and called out for another customer by saying "next".


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  1. Theo posted on 01/19/2013 02:02 AM
    If this happens to you, call 911. Tell them someone was aggressive towards you and threatened to assault you. When the cops show up say you don't understand French very well but say you think you were being threatened. Let's see what happens.
    1. Ben posted on 01/22/2013 05:45 PM
      @Theo Calling 911 because the teller doesn't speak English and making up a story about the criminal intentions of someone who pisses you off? Seriously, get a life. The cops have better things to do than handle childish behaviour.
    2. Theo posted on 02/03/2013 04:16 PM
      @Theo Or wait until it turns into a brawl, then the police will come anyways. Remember the lady and the metro ticket-taker wrestler?
  2. Angela posted on 01/19/2013 08:24 AM
    My Daughter works at a local Mall and during the Christmas rush, her and her co workers were serving the public in whichever language they preferred. When serving an English customer, a little girl around 7 or 8 overheard and asked her father, Papa, pourquoi elle parle en anglais, ce n'est pas permis au Québec, non? Where do you think she is learning this?

    If all of our kids were left without learning these prejudices, Québec would be a wonderful bilingual place and all our children would be better off and more worldly.

    Hopefully at some point, our next generations will drop the prejudices and just find a way to co-exist in harmony.
    1. Rudolph S posted on 01/22/2013 02:47 PM
      @Angela Yes Angela, Quebec and especially Montreal could be the nices place on earth to live. However first we have to get rid of things like the Maroisie, OLF and separatists. This can only be achieved at the ballot box...... so when we get to vote the next time, dont' stay at home....
  3. george posted on 01/19/2013 09:43 AM
    Racism alive and well in Quebec.
    1. Grace posted on 01/21/2013 10:40 AM
      @george It's not racism since English isn't a race, but it is definitely discrimination based on language. I have had this happen many times when dealing with SAAQ, Medicare and anything to do with the provincial government. If I have any banking that needs to be done, I will drive 20 minutes into the West Island where I lived with my parents just to be sure I'm served in English. Where your health/money or something important like a license is concerned, there should be a law that they speak both languages. If you're in the service industry, you can't only speak one of them.
  4. Umaga posted on 01/21/2013 02:26 PM
    It's easy to jump to conclusions in this type of story but with only Mr. Amin's word to go by how do we know that he was not agressive and confrontational thereby provoking the employee to insist on serving him in French ,as is her right. I have always found Quebec bureaucrats very helpful .
    That Mr. Amin considers this minor dispute " humiliating " enough to warrant calling a radio station may give us some insight into his character .
    1. Charlene posted on 01/21/2013 05:19 PM
      @Umaga You work for the government...right?
    2. enoughcrap posted on 01/22/2013 06:58 AM
      @Umaga Umago, have there not been enough proven episodes in the recent months to put the responsibility for these situations squarely on the shoulders of all employees working in kebec???? I am not a bit surprised to read your comment, blaming and ridiculing this man and his family. That alone is proof to me that this disgusting behavior is now commonplace and dictated by your dispicable minority leader who, by the way, is being allowed to function like a typical little nazi terrorist. What is wrong with the people of kebec? Lack of outcry can only confirm the acceptance and enjoyment of the humiliation of the english speaking Canadians in your filthy corrupt province. .
  5. Krista posted on 01/22/2013 09:30 AM
    Welcome to Quebec! This has happened to me in restaurants, a Laval Walmart, and many metro stations. Hoping to move after University!
    1. Doug posted on 01/31/2013 01:24 PM
      @Krista Welcome to Canada.The Charter promotes denying services based on language
  6. a l posted on 01/22/2013 10:16 AM
    My husband and I went for our license in Valleyfield and we got a french woman who only spoke french and she insisted in speaking french to us... We spoke English and kept speaking english very politely until another french speaking person next to her heard us and translated...No one in this province will stop me from speaking in english. When it comes to legal matters i want to be served in english..
    1. Viking posted on 01/22/2013 12:42 PM
      @a l I do the same, however in my case it's because I have no choice as I am not bilingual. I live in Montreal, have my whole life and always address everyone in English. Regarding public service workers, in 99.9% of the time, and once they realize that I am not bilingual, they always serve me in English. Only on a few occassions did they have to call someone else as they were not able to serve me. On those occassions, I did not mean to get anyone in trouble especially since the workers genuinely intended to help me.
    2. anne posted on 01/30/2013 09:37 PM
      @a l What a great idea !!! Keep speaking English no matter what ! Will do !!
  7. LwestEye posted on 01/22/2013 02:56 PM
    I have been treated the same way at the Valleyfield licence office.. But I spoke french to them very well... They just assumed I was an immigrant because of my skin color and my last name (Sorry I wont write it here to stay anonymous) and treated me very differently because of my name. I was born and raised in Montreal, i am bilingual, attended french school all my life!!! So I can't imagine how someone who hasn't lived here that long feels when they are served that way. Now when I have to go to a license bureau, I go to the Dorval one so that I can be served properly. Such a shame!
    1. chuck posted on 01/23/2013 04:22 PM
      @LwestEye so many racists in this province yet we are continually told it is an open and inclusive society. Only if one is white and pur-laine is the society open. All others can hit the 401 to toronto!
  8. Dominique Beaulieu posted on 01/23/2013 06:37 PM
    Bon! Enfin! Il était temps que la SAAQ prenne ses responsabilités et fasse respecter l'esprit de la Loi 101.

    Pour ceux qui ne comprennent pas le français, les laisser conduire est dangereux pour la sécurité Comment vont-ils lire les panneaux?

    Si le monsieur avait été responsable, il se serait fait accompagner d'un interprète.
    1. Jay posted on 01/24/2013 12:37 AM
      @Dominique Beaulieu If you work in a government public sector job and cannot speak english and french, then you should be the one with the interpreter. Mohamed Amin spoke in english because he didn't know french, the person working there didn't speak english because she chose to make someone feel less of an equal member of society.
    2. Angellic37 posted on 01/24/2013 04:14 PM
      @Dominique Beaulieu Tell me Dominique what happens when you go abroad to another country, city in which their official language is English and only English. Are you going to deprive yourself of not traveling because you don't speak the language or are you going to bring an interpreter who can interpret for you? It's people like you that give our country yes you heard me country a bad rap. Quebec is still part of Canada & as such we have two official languages & it is our God given right to be served in whatever language we choose.

      I feel sorry for your children because you see my children speak 3 languages & are also able to write in 2 of those 3 languages. They'll have a greater chance in getting a job in the field of their choice here or abroad where as your children won't because they'll only be fluent in the their mother tongue which is French.

      We are part of a great country & live in a beautiful city but if this language issue isn't resolved & continues on this destructive path we won't have a city left.
  9. Tom posted on 01/23/2013 10:23 PM
    I have been dealing with this outlet for many years and workers there have happily served my in English. Contrary to what most may know, this outlet is a private enterprise merely offering SAAQ services other than testing. A "manditaire" is contracted by the SAAQ subject to review for renewal. I doubt that such an employee would have the same sense of entitlement as a civil servant. Where's the follow up with investigative journalism for the other point of the story?

    And no...I do not work for them.
  10. Dan posted on 01/25/2013 08:53 AM
    I've noticed that Revenue Qweebec has no problem sending me all documents in english. When they have their hand out for money, they seem to be more accomodating.
    1. Ellie posted on 01/25/2013 12:21 PM
      @Dan Yes, and they don't mind taking our money which has pictures of the dreaded Queen all over it.
  11. Harold Staviss posted on 01/25/2013 10:24 AM
    Enough is Enough. We Anglophones, Allophones and all others who believe that English could and should be spoken in public in Quebec without shame, embarrassment, threats and/or harrassment, MUST Stand up and Refuse to speak French. It is our fault and we are the only ones to blame for the English language slowly and surely disappearing from the Quebec landscape. I blame Big business for caving in and continuously caving in to the OLF and now the OQLF for refusing to insist on English and French being of equal size in Quebec. Eatons (remember Eaton's) caved in and removed the apostrophe. Shame shame shame. It is not a matter of language. It is solely a matter of RESPECT. Canada has two official languages. Quebec is still part of Canada and English should not be considered a disease. I blame Trudeau and his cronnies years and years ago for caving into Bourassa and his gang. If Quebec insists on leaving Canada, great, but just leave the Montreal, Laval and South Shore areas behind.
    1. Cutie003 posted on 02/05/2013 03:59 PM
      @Harold Staviss Yes, the Outaouais, the Pontiac will join with the new Province of Montreal also. So deathly sick of these language bigots - one final referendum - Clarity Act Rules - clear majority - clear question - done by municipalities or federal district. Those that vote to leave be gone to form their new quebec and the rest of us remain within Canada as a new bilingual province. Democratic way out of this mess and let's end it once and for all! Partition please quickly.
  12. Steve F posted on 01/25/2013 04:28 PM
    Ever noticed those signs that are popular these days in all government/city run institutions about zero tolerance for harassment etc? From all the accounts I've seen out there over the past little time about the verbal abuse thrown at English-speakers by these institutions, it would appear that zero-tolerance is not a two-way street. There was an article in The Hudson Gazette this week - finally, someone in the media has called out the anglo-bashing for what it is. Racism. And in the present political climate, apparently government sanctioned, since in none of the language incidents reported in the media over the past few months, including those allegedly involving violence towards non-French speaking customers, has there been any governmental statement to indicate they DO NOT condone such actions. I suspect that if it was an Anglo dissing a Franco, the story would be very different.

    I'm just waiting for when non pure-blood Quebecois are forced to wear a symbol on their coats and forced to make their way to the Lachine yards, so we can all be shipped out like cattle to Ontario. Of course, the PQ could just wait until all Anglos have died off because they couldn't get access to health services in English, but I digress.
  13. aa double posted on 01/26/2013 06:43 PM
    This recently happened to me at Michael's in Laval. The cashier who didn't know a single WORD of english, was extremely rude. And her answer, C'est la loi, je suis seulement obliger de te repondre en francais. How could a company like Michael's allow themselves to hire employees who are for one RUDE, but who do not speak a Word of english. I find it absolutely disgusting and extremely sad.
    1. nikiblue posted on 01/29/2013 06:10 PM
      @aa double when this happens to me, I go to see customer service or the manager & ask if their store is bilingual. They usually say yes, then I say, "well, then can that cashier respect me". I find it helps. They want your money, so let them know that you are not satisfied.
  14. murve posted on 01/29/2013 05:27 PM
    I wonder what would happen if all the Anglophones in Quebec would refuse to pay their taxes........not enough jails to hold all of them
    1. Robin posted on 01/30/2013 08:54 AM
      @murve They will build more!
  15. Robin posted on 01/30/2013 07:34 AM
    They can`t tell what language you speak as long as you keep your mouth shut,only if i ask for HELP,do i have problems! I have learned to keep my mouth shut in situations and nod for yes an skake my head sideways for no,works well sometimes!
    1. Jenny posted on 01/30/2013 02:46 PM
      @Robin Robin, may I ask if I understand your concept correctly. You do not speak any English only nod and shake your had side to side. All this is for what exactly? Why should we resort to such tactics in our own Country. I do not know about you, but I was born and raised here. Yes I do speak French but I will NOT do so if I am pushed or bambuzzled to do so. I do not understand why AA DOUBLE would not demand to speak to a manager of Michael's and get that PQst FIRED. I have done this at Walmart in the West Island and let me tell you, I not only got the man fired who so arrogantly told me in a degrading voice "Ici c'est Quebec, et au Québec vous référer à moi en français ou sortir de mon magasin." I spoke to his manager (also french but polite) and then contacted H/O. I am certain he was transferred to another store in the South Shore, RDP or Laval, but he no longer worked at Walmart Kirkland. More English speaking Quebecers need to put their foot down and VOICE their opinion. Write your grievances to your MNAs - if they don't reply CALL THEIR OFFICE and get something done. It is obvious the Federal government will never defend us, let alone the disgraceful and corrupt Liberal Quebec Party.
  16. Robin Hood posted on 01/30/2013 08:34 AM
    I hear your frustration,what can you do,me i am finished, lost 2 jobs,i am english only,i do find some menial handouts i used to be a 4 color process printer,i am old now,people with good secure or insecure jobs won`t speak out,a lot of them see no problem at all,some are terffied of loseing there jobs,there is no easy answer,leave the province,i can`t i have my Mother to look after she`s not well,i put job apps in 400 companies,going right up to the door,but they all want bilingual,,i went threw frustration,anger,disappoint,depression,somtimes i feel i am in prison just watching the world go by,i do have a lot to offer,a lot of english only do but they don`t want us,i remember many years ago and it stuck in my mind,Cretien our Prime Minister at the time,,he was in Sherbroke at a meeting,a fellow asked what should i do,i can`t speak french an i was born here,he said well just leave go to Ontario or some place,that was it he took the question from someone else.I give up,everone is complying with french only,Language police! Nationalism,an Fascism AN Seperatism go hand in hand,,what gets me are the english sympathisers,usually white spoon fed Royal bank workers,any english instution Radio tv federal workers in Quebec etc etc etc claiming the seps have a right because they were so oppressed 50 years ago,so as long as they are doing ok the heck with any other english people and the atitude we don`t want to speak french you know some people can`t because of a mental disorder i don`t mean crazy some peple just can`t does anyone care or how do you prove it go to a physiatrist no one will do that there are many reasons,,that is reality!!
    1. Cutie003 posted on 02/05/2013 05:10 PM
      @Robin Hood I would like to apologize to you for all you've been through and say that most Canadians are really good people. I too am unilingual english but I'm old and never picked up french because my friends wanted to learn english. Please remember that your mom needs you and try to keep your spirits up - I hope we can get rid of these language bigots come next election and don't be ashamed that your an anglophone - that's what they want! I'm not ashamed so don't you be! Keep your head high - we live in Canada and not in any racist society that these separatists want. Good luck.
  17. ky-lee hanson posted on 01/30/2013 06:10 PM
    If I were treated like this I would be very upset. I am new to Montreal and don't know french yet, but I am 100% Canadian and would like to learn french but these things take time. I am also a business owner and 100% of my clients are from the US and Ontario, I bring in outside money into the province of Quebec. I have to speak with the government quite often, and have a really hard time processing paper work as they will not provide it to me in English.
    The government should really take a good look at the people that do speak only English and see that they most likely benefit this province greatly and furthermore, should be served properly in an English / French speaking country.
  18. Julia Scorcia posted on 01/30/2013 10:23 PM
    French is the official language of Quebec. English and French are the official languages of Canada. Quebec and Canada have different official languages. I live in Quebec. I prefer to speak english but I do accept that I choose to live in a province whereby French is the official language!!!! I have tremendous compassion for unilingual anglophones or people of other ethnicity that don't speak French - but I repeat, French is the official language of must learn to speak French. I strongly disapprove of the PQ and its leader, but I do understand that this province is French! If the day comes where a political party will have the guts to make Quebec officially bilingual, I will be the happiest person in Canada! But until then, we live in Quebec, the official language is French, period.
    1. Katherine posted on 01/31/2013 11:24 AM
      @Julia Scorcia I feel sorry for you Julia because it is people like you who have allowed the french to walk all over us. Might I suggest my dear that you open a book and read a little more before flapping your mouth (or in this case, typing those keys). If all English speaking Quebecers had your attitude this province would become another Germany in the 40s. Get it through your imbecilic brain QUEBEC IS PART OF CANADA - so it has to follow the CANADIAN rules POINTE FINALE - or as you said as your punch line, PERIOD. Moron
    2. Helena posted on 01/31/2013 03:43 PM
      @Julia Scorcia What is more important, rudimentary moral obligations or language laws?
  19. Doug posted on 01/31/2013 01:22 PM
    none of this would be happening If Trudeau hadn't made it look like it's the "English minority's" fault "non-miorities" lost there right to chose education .Section 23 of the Canadian Charter blames "English minority rights" for denying "non-minority" choice of education.
    1. Cutie003 posted on 02/05/2013 05:28 PM
      @Doug Time to amend the stupid Constitution and get rid of the "Notwithstanding" Clause at the same time to put an end to this on-going mess in quebec! Out with the separatists! Let's partition this place and those areas that want to go leave - the hell with them. It's time to boot the socialist bums out of our province!
  20. Nick posted on 01/31/2013 06:33 PM
    Nice to see all the anglos getting upset over this, guess what people if you don't want to be served in French there are many other provinces you can go to. Whether you like it or not Quebec is a French-speaking nation.

    The choice is clear, Mohamed Amin: intègre toi dans notre société francophone or get out.
    1. Jean-Alain posted on 02/01/2013 10:48 AM
      @Nick Nick, as a french speaking Quebecker, it's people like you that make me ashamed to be Quebecois. The way you think promotes discrimination based on language. The anglophones pay significant taxes, contribute and are great members of our society.

      To everybody else reading this, people like Nick do not represent the rest of us peaceful, open minded Quebeckers. I speak with pleasure in english or in french to whomever I'm dealing with because that's what Quebec is all about. It's unfortunate that the small minded racist at the SAAQ humiliated this man and she deserves to be fired.
    2. Mr. Anglo posted on 02/01/2013 12:51 PM
      @Nick Quebec is NOT now and NEVER will be a nation.

      Your racist attitude mirrors that of most sovereignists ...not sure what you're scared of but get used to it...Quebec is turning more mixed everyday and now you have awoken the sleeping giant.
  21. rosato1954 posted on 02/01/2013 12:11 AM
    North America historically has English as its first language. Nothing wrong of communicating in other languages but nobody should be ever considered out of place by speaking English in North America.
    1. Québécois posted on 02/04/2013 12:56 AM
      @rosato1954 "North America historically has English as its first language"

      I guess you need a history course. In Québec french people had already settled a century and a half before the english conquered it by force. And at one point (through alliances with aboriginals) New France was extending up to Louisiana.
  22. nick posted on 02/01/2013 05:28 PM
    Ben, what if what Theo says happens and the person doesn't speak french and is really scared and feels threatened and does call 911. This person working at the license bureau could really stir up alot of publicity to the discrimination cause.
    1. Le Québécois posted on 02/04/2013 01:00 AM
      @nick If you can't be served in french 90% of the time in cities like Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver, why do english people expect to be served in english all the time in Montréal ?
  23. Stewart posted on 02/02/2013 04:57 AM
    It's happened to me too. That's why I left Quebec. Good riddance. I don't need to be a second class citizen.
    1. Le Québécois posted on 02/04/2013 12:58 AM
      @Stewart Good, now you understand how all French people outside of Québec feel everyday.
  24. Ian posted on 02/04/2013 01:31 PM
    It amazes me how narrow-minded Quebecers like Le Quebecois and Nick use their revisionism and nationalist passion to justify their arguements. Whenever I go to Ottawa, I see French-speaking people being served in English. I have relatives living in other provinces who had their kids learn French. It is unfortunate that there are cases of French people not being served in their language when they are in other cities or provinces in Canada.The truth is that Separatists do not want to argue according to facts. This is their achilles heel. They like to play according to emotions. While the rest of Canada is progressing, our beloved province and Montreal is regressing.
    1. Le Québécois posted on 02/04/2013 11:14 PM
      @Ian "I see French-speaking people being served in English"
      "I have relatives living in other provinces who had their kids learn French"

      What you cite is anecdotic evidence. And also when one english person learns french the cbc makes sure to highlight it for everyone to see.

      But if you look at census data its clear french people are losing weight.

      And if you want fact look at the demographics of Ottawa, your proud bilingual capital :

      "Those who identified their mother tongue as English constitute 62.6 percent, French 14.9 percent and both English & French 0.85 percent. An additional 21.6 percent list languages other than English and French as their mother tongue."

      The truth is that most english canadian do not see french culture as THEIR canadian culture, french is only for french people so if french people decrease then the culture dies.

      Canada is a failed social experiment (now the ROC is starting to realize it) and Québec is fully in its right to be french only in official communications in response to that.

      Go see sun news and see the many videos on "The high cost of bilingualism".

      If you want your Canada to be a remake of the british empire then do what you want but let Québec go !

      Vive la liberté, vive l'indépendance !
  25. Bilingual.D. posted on 02/04/2013 09:17 PM
    disgusted, ashamed, sad.
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