Minister Jean-François Roberge defended himself on Thursday from targeting young Quebecers in the advertisement of the Ministry of the French Language on the peregrine falcon “sick“.
< p>The short television message, first broadcast on Wednesday, aims to discourage the use of Anglicisms by French-speaking Quebecers. It features a falcon, referred to by one narrator as “sick” and “chill“.
“Despite his skills hunters are insane, the future of the peregrine falcon remains sketchcan be heard, before a message stating that “in Quebec, French is in decline” appears on the screen.
In Quebec, French is on the decline.
Together, let's reverse the trend.
Here is the Ministry's new advertisement of the French language to raise awareness among Quebecers of the decline of French in Quebec.#polqc pic.twitter.com/O6gtxFU0IK
— Jean-F. Roberge (@jfrobergeQc) March 15, 2023
On Thursday, the three opposition groups in the National Assembly criticized the Minister for the French Language, Jean-François Roberge, of unfairly attacking the youngest with this advertisement. “I especially had the feeling that it was not aimed at the right target”, raised the united deputy of Rosemont, Vincent Marissal, during a press briefing in the morning. “Me, when I was a teenager, I had plenty of expressions, too, that were probably not in the Larousse. »
MNA Madwa-Nika Cadet, who ranks fourth among the youngest elected members of the National Assembly — and who, incidentally, is the Quebec Liberal Party's spokesperson for the French language — believes that “we are doing a bit of a misstep by targeting young people in particular.
“There are certain English terms that have been chosen that are often associated with the younger generation. While the use of English terms in everyday language is an issue that affects all generations, said the elected Liberal. They still make my generation wear that hat, but especially those who follow.
Questioned on this subject by the media, Thursday morning, the member for the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, the PQ Joël Arseneau, also raised questions about the government's intentions to Francois Legault. After all, he said, the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, was using the phrase “the columns of the temple will shake” just this week.”. At the end of February, the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, had used the term “bullshit” in a television interview.
“Are these more the young people we should be targeting, when we know that the government, in recent outings, and again this week […] has used [these] English expressions? wondered Joël Arseneau on Thursday.
However, this advertisement full of Anglicisms is not only aimed at young people, repeated Minister Roberge when he left the Salon Bleu on Thursday morning. “This is a call for a great national awakening. Indeed, there are young people who can express themselves in this way, but not only young people. I get away with it too,” he admitted.
“No one is perfect,” he added. Sometimes I go to a meeting and then I call it meeting.
According to the elected representative of the Coalition avenir Québec, the data from the last census make “awareness of the fragility of French”. The objective of such publicity was precisely to draw attention to the decline in the use of the language of Molière among Quebecers, he declared to justify himself.
According to the 2021 Canadian census, the proportion of residents of Quebec whose mother tongue is French has fallen from 77.1% to 74.8% since the last count, carried out in 2016. Those who speak mainly French at home are, for their part, from 79% to 77.5% of the population.