Quebec backs down on banning retail workers from using 'bonjour hi' greeting

Phrase widely adopted in effort to welcome diverse clientele
By Staff
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/08/2019
legislation
Quebec's immigration minister now says there is no plan to bring in legislation to prevent retail workers from greeting their customers with ``bonjour-hi." Shutterstock

MONTREAL (CP) — Quebec's immigration minister now says there is no plan to bring in legislation to prevent retail workers from greeting their customers with ``bonjour-hi,'' three days after he raised the possibility of banning the bilingual greeting.

Simon Jolin-Barrette, who is also minister responsible for the French language, says the government will work to encourage retailers to greet customers in French instead of forcing them.

The bilingual greeting has been widely adopted by retail workers in Montreal in an effort to welcome a diverse clientele, but it has also become a source of controversy among those who fear the gradual erosion of the French language.

On Friday, Jolin-Barrette said the province was looking for a way to ban the greeting, as a way of building on two unanimous motions passed in the legislature calling on store clerks to stick to a simple ``bonjour.''

Jolin-Barrette did not specify how he planned to accomplish the task but insisted to reporters that people want to be welcomed in French.

Today he clarified that while the government is looking at a variety of measures to promote and protect the French language, there is no plan to legislate specifically on the popular phrase.

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Comments (1)

Training director010/9/2019 8:03:02 AMI feel we have more important issues at hand than passing a legislation on how retail workers greet customers. The greeting is not malicious, and I think forcing something on people will only have the opposite effect. It also feels like the government is trying to control freedom of speech.