PQ, QS and PLQ denounce Couche-Tard’s English-speaking CEO

The CEO of Couche-Tard, who has not been able to learn French for almost 8 years, is another example of the failure of the CAQ policy, according to Parti Québécois, Solidarity Quebec.

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While in Ottawa before the Canadian Parliament, PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon rightly denounced the “federalism of the CAQ” and took the opportunity to draw a parallel with Prime Minister François Legault’s claim that there was a year old, said he wanted to convince “company presidents in Quebec” to learn French.

“Mr. Legault wants to persuade corporate bosses to learn French just as he wants to persuade the federal government to comply with Quebec’s demands. At some point, benevolent requests obviously come to nothing.”

The head of the PQ responded to an article by protocol published Thursday about the CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard, who still doesn’t speak French eight years after being appointed to head the company in Quebec.


PQ, QS and PLQ denounce Couche-Tard's English-speaking CEO

Nevertheless, Brian Hannasch had planned to move to Montreal in 2014 and learn Molière’s language. However, he still lives in Indiana, in the United States, and has not recently taken any French classes.

The 2021 Retail Manager of the Year admits that learning languages ​​is not one of his strengths.


PQ, QS and PLQ denounce Couche-Tard's English-speaking CEO

PATRICK BELLEROSE / JOURNAL DE QUEBEC / QMI AGENCY

“Arrogance of big boss»

For his part, on the sidelines of an announcement in New Richmond, in Gaspésie, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said “weathered by the arrogance of these Big boss-“I say it in English because they speak English,” he said with a grin.

“I think it shows us where the real threat to the French language in Quebec is coming from. These are not people who choose Quebec as their welcome country. The threat to French in Quebec is that this language is declining as a working language,” added the spokesman for Quebec Solidaire.

That is why his training focuses on franking in the workplace. “And it starts at the top of the company. Québec solidaire had suggested including him [dans] Bill 96 requires major corporate executives in Quebec to speak French. Those proposals were rejected,” he said of the recent Law 101 reform.

During the review of the bill, QS tabled an amendment to require executives of Quebec companies to have a certain knowledge of French under penalty of fines. The proposal was rejected by the Legault government.

Liberal leader Dominique Anglade believes the Couche-Tard leader should have learned French because it was a “matter of respect” for Quebec.

“It’s not normal. No, it’s not normal. He made a commitment and that commitment hasn’t been kept,” she responded.

Independence, the key for the PQ

For the leader of the PQ, the only solution would be independence from Quebec. He wouldn’t force CEOs to learn French, but believes expectations would be vastly different if Quebec were a country.

“When I go to Italy, I know that the national language is Italian,” he explains. Our affiliation with Canada means the answer is always that it is a bilingual country. However, institutional bilingualism, i.e. a government that operates in both languages, does not create an incentive to learn French.

Legault minimized

For his part, the supreme caquiste, François Legault, minimized the scope of this affair by recalling that the big boss of the company does not live in Quebec.

“The person we are talking about lives in the United States. We must not forget that Couche-Tard has activities all over the world,” recalled the outgoing prime minister, who caused much controversy over Air Canada’s CEO a few months ago.

“I’ve already discussed it [de l’enjeu du français] with Alain Bouchard. First, Alain is very proud to say that there are Quebecers [au] Board of Directors,” said Mr. Legault. Now Couche-Tard is an international company.”

With the collaboration of Marc-André Gagnon and Nicolas Lachance

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