A New Quebec Anti-Racism Ad Was Called Out For Not Calling Anglophones Quebecers

On Monday, Quebec unveiled its new anti-racism ads, intended to be positive messages against prejudice, to the public. But the new campaign entered the language debate after some took issue with the wording in one ad.

The ad, which is running in both English and French, has been criticized for how it describes a group of individuals sitting in a park.

In the now-removed English video, the ad narrator says "a group of young Black people in a park at night are called: friends."

Lutte contre le racisme - Amis www.youtube.com

The French ad narrator, reading the exact same line, ends it with the statement "des amis québécois" (québécois friends).

Spot the difference?

Liberal MNA Jennifer Maccarone interpreted the discrepancy as an indication that the government excluded anglophones from the québécois identity.

Maccarone took to Twitter to question what she called a "lack of tact" by the government.

"Sorry that being a Quebecer cannot be translated into another language," she wrote. "Are not English speakers fully-fledged québécois.es? Isn't the primary goal to bring everyone together?!"

In his own tweet Monday night, Benoit Charette, Quebec's minister for the fight against racism, explained that "following discussions with our language advisors, we had not included the term 'Quebecers' as it seemed less inclusive."

"Today's reactions show us that this was not the best solution," he admitted.

"After discussions with our person in charge of relations with the English-speaking communities [MNA Christopher Skeete], we asked that we modify the advertisement in English. All citizens of Quebec are Quebecers, regardless of their language."

Quebec's four new anti-racism ads are airing online and on television as of November 22.