Lisée's CJAD interview irks nationalists

Posted By: Richard Deschamps · 1/29/2013 4:29:00 PM

French-language activists have a bone to pick with Jean-François Lisée over comments the minister made last week on CJAD's Tommy Schnurmacher Show.

Last Friday, the PQ minister responsible for the anglophone community hinted that if the STM thinks its bus drivers and ticket-takers should speak English, then all it has to do is make the case to the Office Québécois de la Langue Française.

"STM? Are you listening?" Lisée declared at the time.

Mario Beaulieu, the head of the St. Jean Baptiste Society in Montreal, says Lisée's comments run counter to the PQ's long-standing positions on language.

"Allowing for the anglicization of services, and encouraging the STM to require employees to serve English-speaking customers in English, as the PQ minister proposes, is totally unacceptable and contrary to the goals of its language policy, which aims to make French the common public language," Beaulieu writes in a statement. "The practice also sabotages the policy of francizing immigrants because, in practice, it's impossible to distinguish a 'real' anglophone from any other person asking for English services."

Beaulieu declined an interview request from CJAD.

A statement from the Gatineau-based group Impératif Français, meanwhile, strikes a similar tone, saying the refusal to learn and use French doesn't give anyone the right to 'anglicize Quebec, demand institutional bilingualism, deprive workers the right to exercise their functions in French, and to earn their living!"

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