Speak in Francos | White The Journal of Montreal

“Unacceptable and disrespectful,” said Minister Jolin-Barrette.

“Not acceptable,” Mayor Plante said. “Furious and inexcusable,” said the president of the Saint Jean Baptiste Society.

“Heartbreaking,” said the leader of the Bloc Québécois and the Parti Québécois.

“Disturbing,” said Liberal Christine St-Pierre.

“Let’s see, Chalice,” said Guy A. Lepage.

What are we talking about ? The fact that at Francos de Montréal employees are forced to work in English. English… at Francos the world really is upside down!


When I saw the title of the article by Radio-Canada’s Thomas Gerbet, I thought it was a hoax: Franco’s employees complain that they have to use English at work.

That can’t be, they didn’t dare! It seems that “working for Équipe Spectra would not be the same since it belongs to evenko (Groupe CH) and Live Nation”.

I thought for a moment we were transported back to the 1950’s when I read that “some meetings were held in English, although there was only one English speaker among the twenty people at the table”.

I was stunned to read that “Written or verbal instructions will only be given in English”. One employee said: “People from evenko made my eyes wide open when I spoke French in a meeting.”

But where my jaw really dropped was when I read that the Francos’ organizer, the Spectra group, advocated “diversity and inclusion” to avoid criticism. hey sorry What a stupid explanation! The small catechism awoke to justify that “we are open to all languages”? misery !

At the time I was depressed and frankly mortified to see that this festival celebrating the French fact is the symbol of English colonization. But as I saw the outburst this news sparked in civil society, I told myself there was still a glimmer of hope.

Do you feel the tide is turning? Ever since my colleague Pierre-Oliver Zappa posed the fateful question to Air Canada’s CEO about his ability to live in English in Montreal, we’ve felt an awareness.

When we see the epidermal reaction of some Anglophones to Bill 96 (“Help, we are asked to speak the common language of the province we live in”), we are sorry. But when we see the reaction of the decision-makers in English with the Francos, we take comfort.

According to Radio-Canada, “The Legault government has mandated the Office québécois de la langue française to carry out inspections and ensure compliance with the French language charter in the workplace of Francos de Montréal”.


There is one thing that strikes me about all this controversy. It shows a glaring contradiction.

In Quebec, the only French-speaking province in “the best country in the world”, when we try to force Anglos to speak French, we are told that we are intolerant, despotic.

But when a large company imposes English as the working language for its French-speaking employees, that’s the order of the day, should we close the box and back out in the name of inclusion and diversity?

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