Bonjour-hi: An overwhelming majority of Quebecers believe Montreal is a bilingual city, poll finds – CTV News

\Bonjour-hi\: An overwhelming majority of Quebecers believe Montreal is a bilingual city, poll finds - CTV News
Quebec wont make a law to crack down on bonjour/hi
MONTREAL — As Quebecs government decides on the fate of "bonjour-hi," the ubiquitous greeting in Montreal stores and businesses, a new poll finds that more than three-quarters of Quebecers believe that Montreal is a bilingual city.

The poll, conducted in late August through early September by Leger Marketing on behalf of the Association for Canadian Studies, found that 76.6 per cent of Quebecers who were surveyed somewhat to strongly believe that Montreal is a bilingual city. That figure rises to 81.6 per cent of respondents who were polled in the Montreal area.

“I think the government of Quebec has to take all the measures to put in place incentives to ensure people are welcomed in French in different stores,” he said. “That’s what I said Friday as well.”

Francophones in the Montreal area also strongly believe in Montreals bilingual status: 80.3 per cent of French-speaking respondents surveyed in the Montreal area believe the city is bilingual, not far removed from the 83.2 per cent of English-speaking Montrealers who believe the same. (Among Montrealers whose mother tongue is neither French nor English, the figure rises to 85.6 per cent).

On Friday, Simon Jolin-Barrette, the Quebec minister in charge of the French language, sparked headlines when he said that the Coalition Avenir Quebec government was considering measures to make bonjour the exclusive greeting used by Quebec merchants and its public service.

The poll was conducted by web panel between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4. The sample was 1,937 Quebecers: 1,019 English-speaking, 773 French-speaking and 144 whose first language is neither English nor French.

The Quebec government says it has no plans to introduce legislation to force businesses to greet customers in French only, instead of with the "bonjour/hi" used in many Montreal stores.

“I did not change position. On Friday, I said I was in reflection and everything is on the table. I am making some clarifications this morning that we will not pass a bill about Bonjour-Hi question.

Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, who is also responsible for the protection of the French language, said Monday he will not use "repressive measures" to curb the bilingual greeting.

“You know tourists coming to Montreal and Quebec are happy to be greeted with a Bonjour, which is a word recognized internationally, all over world and reflects the French face of Quebec.

But Jolin-Barrette said he is still looking at ways to encourage the use of "bonjour" through other means, such as public awareness campaigns.

Three days after the minister responsible for language, Simon Jolin-Barrette, floated the idea, Premier François Legault has stepped in to say it won’t happen.

Jolin-Barrette made headlines Friday after saying he was contemplating taking steps to ensure "bonjour" is the default greeting in Quebec's stores and businesses.

The government’s backpeddling follows widespread ridicule, with critics saying it is impossible to legislate conversations between citizens and store owners.

He said at the time he was considering his options around the bilingual greeting and that "everything is on the table."

After three days of controversy and headlines around the world, the Legault government has backed away from the idea of banning the “Bonjour-Hi,” greeting.

The ubiquitous greeting has been a subject of controversy for years and a source of worry for some Quebecers.

Members of the National Assembly passed non-binding motions favouring "bonjour" over "bonjour/hi" in June of this year and in 2017, both times with unanimous support from all parties.

He said he will continue preparing an action plan to reinforce the status of French in Quebec. It is to be made public in the coming weeks.

A poll released Monday, conducted by Leger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies, suggests more than three-quarters of Quebecers believe Montreal is a bilingual city.

“One thing for sure, the government of Quebec will put in place incentives because French is the spoken language in Quebec.

A total of 76.6 per cent of Quebecers who were surveyed believe Montreal is a bilingual city. In the Montreal area, that number climbs to 81.6.

“I’m at the beginning of my reflection about the different measures we will table,” Jolin-Barrette said.

Asked about the survey, Jolin-Barrette said "the city of Montreal is a French city," according to its own charter. 

“We prefer to sensitize Quebecers to the issue. There is unanimity in the National Assembly on this question.”

"We have to be proud of that distinctive situation," he said, pointing out that it's the largest French-speaking city in North America. 

QUEBEC — There will be no law banning the use of the greeting “Bonjour-Hi” in Quebec shops.

The online poll, conducted between Aug. 4 and Sept. 4, surveyed 1, 937 Quebecers, which included 1019 English-speaking Quebecers, 773 French-speaking Quebecers and 144 persons whose first language is neither English nor French.

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