Lisée opposes "Bonjour / Hi" clamp-down UPDATED

"that's for each commerce to decide"

Jean-François Lisée
Angelica Montgomery/CJAD

Language minister Diane De Courcy may have neglected to inform the minister for Montreal of her plan to eliminate the "Bonjour / Hi" greeting from they city's shops and restaurants.

Jean-François Lisée said today that the practice was an individual choice.

"It's for each enterprise to decide," he said.

And, asked whether he thought there should be a crack-down, he answered directly "no."

De Courcy vows to rid Quebec of Bonjour / Hi

Lisée thoughts run contrary to a pledge the Language minister made Monday on behalf of the PQ government.

Diane De Courcy said if the Parti Quebecois won a majority, there would be a revived effort to stamp out "institutionalized bilingualism," including the use of "Bonjour / Hi."

Employees must address clients in correct French "not like what we have right now in downtown Montreal, and not only in Montreal, which is ‘Bonjour-Hi," De Courcy was quoted as saying in the Gazette.

She also said action to rid the businesses of bilingual practices must be made"without mercy."

Lisée shows mercy

Minister Lisée, on the other hand, says he encourage the use of the simple "Bonjour."

He says it makes Montreal sound distinct, everyone knows what it means "and if the client is Anglophones, you switch to English."

However, he dismissing the idea of enforcing it. "That's for each commerce to decide."


Following the release of this story, Minister Lisée issued the following statement on twitter:

" As I said, I encourage "Bonjour" but, like  (Diane De Courcy), I think encouragement, not enforcement, is the way to promote it."

Attempts to contact De Courcy for clarification on her previous statement have so far been unsuccessful.

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  • 19
  1. crj posted on 02/26/2014 05:02 PM
    Have you heard the latest stupidity from Quebec Canada? Absolutely ridiculous. This damn party will destroy a great province and all the great things it offers. Montreal is one of the best cities in the world. This government needs to get their heads out of their behinds and focus on the economy, employment and infrastructure !!!!!

    There is no country on this earth that you can't speak to someone in your language if they are capable, not even third world!
  2. Jim posted on 02/26/2014 05:09 PM
    How is it that the general population of Quebec (primarily, most Francophone Québecois in and outside of Montréal) do not question the credibility and reliability of a political party such as the present day PQ, who present themselves as an incohesive, anarchist group. First you have De Courcy, who presents as the rebel rouser, then you have the smooth talking Lisée, who tries to reassure people, while being two-faced in the process. Are they following Marois' vision or that presented by Lisée, which is a watered-down version meant to deceive people into complacency. They do not seem to have a clear party stance on what measures they are prepared to take that will have a direct impact on people's daily lives and will affect people's decisions as to whether to stay or invest in Québec. The PQ of the past were far more respectable and predictable than today's bunch of buffoons. If the populous of Québec cannot see these short-comings, maybe it isn't worth staying. I am not just dependent upon the faith I hold in the governing party in Québec, but even more so in the judgement of the people voting for them. These days, I very much question that judgement and I believe the mid- to long-term consequences for my children are too grave to ignore. This becomes even more apparent when we end up quibbling over "Bonjour / Hi".
  3. LMAO posted on 02/26/2014 05:25 PM
    Lisée thoughts run contrary to a pledge the Language minister made Monday on behalf of the PQ government.

    Diane De Courcy said if the Parti Quebecois won a majority, there would be a revived effort to stamp out "institutionalized bilingualism," including the use of "Bonjour / Hi."

    Cracks are beginning to appear in the ship, won't be long before the knives are sharpened now.
  4. George Grummett posted on 02/26/2014 06:06 PM
    What a relief !

    I feel so much better now.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, M. Lisée !
  5. George Grummett posted on 02/26/2014 06:38 PM
    Thank you M. Lisée.

    It's going to be so much more fun saying it when we have permission to do so.
  6. Gino posted on 02/26/2014 07:24 PM
    The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. What kind of government is this ?
  7. Election time! posted on 02/26/2014 08:41 PM
    These people are supposed to be on the same team right?

    They are as organized as their policies, and as arrogant as their leader.

    Bumbling educated dimwits, call the election before they can count their marbles.

    What about the premiers husband.... Did she ever address that connection?

    And what about that lazy opposition party?
  8. Joe posted on 02/26/2014 09:21 PM
    Time for Bon Cop to show up and pretend to be our knight in shining armor. I say take your place beside Queen Poutine just where you belong and stop double talking, if your are a clan member you believe in their cause so stop making it sound as if you are on our side.
  9. George Ostrowski posted on 02/26/2014 10:30 PM
    Why do the separatists HATE us so much?
    Why can't they see that they are wrong?
    When will this stupidity end?
    Quebec and Montreal are going down the toilet.
    So sad.

    George Ostrowski
  10. mtlbilingue posted on 02/26/2014 11:23 PM
    ''Like madame De Courcy'' or ''unlike madame DeCourcy''?

    His tweet is a play on both sides and a distortion. He seems to be the bad cop, expert in the art of illusionism and deception.

    I guess we will need to simply keep encouraging Bonjour-Hi. And fight for an officially bilingual Montreal to end this madness.
  11. Tex posted on 02/27/2014 04:36 AM
    Great. But is Hi-Bonjour OK too? Do I have to open my mouth twice as wide for the bonjour? Does it have to be twice as loud?
    1. al posted on 02/27/2014 10:42 AM
      @Tex I say Bonjourno. They just laugh.
  12. Me posted on 02/27/2014 09:09 AM
    Give me a break! Correct French? Half the time I'm greeted by Allo! Would love to say " au revoir / Good bye" to this province.
    1. Tex posted on 02/27/2014 12:56 PM
      @Me Mais oui! Class, this is the Quebec French. It is characterized primarily by including English words and phrases with your French. Great examples of this are found throughout the Charbonneau Commission testimony. There, you will find a wide range of varying degrees of this Quebec French, as spoken by gangsters to lawyers and many varieties in between.

      Of course this type of bilingualism is only acceptable if practised by 'pure laine' French Quebecois. When this type of 'rampant bilingualism is used by anglo or allophones it is see as the sole and primary threat to our beloved Quebec French. OK d'abord?

      C'est qui qui run ça icite, anyway?
  13. John posted on 02/27/2014 02:05 PM
    The only clamp down that is required in my view is the STUPIDITY of the PQ .

    Enough Said .
  14. gayle holdaway posted on 02/27/2014 06:56 PM
    Is this what we have come to as an Anglophone community that we feel "grateful" that we can use some of our English language. They have been doing this for years and not just the PQ, the Liberals have also tossed out the bread crumbs just to make us feel that we are still an important part of Quebec. Who are they kidding. We know full well where we stand in this Province and it is with the hope that we will take our one foot out the door to a full departure. I see no future coming anytime soon from either party. The smart thing to do for the economy and growth would be to make this a "Bilingual" Province and that will not happen any time soon. I have stayed when many left with the hope that if my children were bilingual they would have a future here. It does not matter. Things have only gotten worse and my later years in this province as a senior does not hold out hope for me to be treated in my language. For the first time ever we are truly considering leaving this province, where I have family. Where my parents and family are buried. Where my memories are, but this is no longer enough to keep me here. How sad.
  15. Realist posted on 02/28/2014 01:18 PM
    Employees must address clients in correct French "not like what we have right now in downtown Montreal, and not only in Montreal, which is ‘Bonjour-Hi," De Courcy was quoted as saying in the Gazette.

    Oy, when I read this I could only think that this eliminates about 3/4 of the francaphone population in Montreal. Not many speak correct French and even if they did the others would not understand them. Take a look at the testimony at the corruption enquiry, moé je doubt que ca marche.
  16. sam posted on 02/28/2014 06:56 PM
    Yo Lisée, de Courcy, 1984 called and wants its Orwellian thought crimes agenda back.
  17. chuck posted on 03/01/2014 05:31 PM
    Like most in the PQ it as though their heads have been screwed on backwards. They pretend french is important when its the english language that provides the opportunity in life. in my opinion french should be relegated to a secondary position and all efforts made to promote and boost the use of english throughout quebec. This is the only way the french can save this province and that is ironic. At work french has been introduced and it is the most useless language to work with. Kick french back to the curb where it belongs.
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