Yesterday, politicians in Quebec gathered in Montreal to announce the opening of three foreign company offices in the city.

But it was a speech by Montreal mayor Valérie Plante that dominated media coverage of the event.

ALSO READ: Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante Just Gave A Speech Entirely In English And People Are Freaking Out

TL;DR Mayor Plante has apologized after giving a speech yesterday entirely in English.

Going off script, the mayor delivered all of her remarks in English. She claims to have been excited by the energy and spirit of cooperation that dominated the event. Other figures gave speeches in both English and French.

But criticism of the mayor's decision was swift and widespread. At a moment when conservative governments across Canada have threatened the security of the French language, the mayor's speech provoked particular fury.

Journal de Montréal writer Francis Halin made made a similar point: "at a time when a challenge to the French language shakes Ontario, the mayor of the largest Francophone city in North America [...] did not think it appropriate to speak French," he wrote.

As we reported yesterday, other Quebec residents took to Twitter to voice their disapproval:

"I'm ashamed of Valérie Plante," wrote one user.

Today, in the face of such a huge backlash, the mayor has admitted that it was a mistake to deliver her speech entirely in English, according to La Presse.

The mayor also issued a formal statement on Twitter. "My speech should have been primarily in French," she wrote.

She also committed "to the promotion of the common and official language [of Quebec]."

Some Montrealers, however, seemed unimpressed.

Montreal, in particular, has long struggled to balance the importance of preserving the French language with its multiculturalism and need to communicate with its large Anglophone population.

This latest incident is sure to further discussions not only about the place of the French language in Canada, but also the place of English in Montreal.

Stay tuned.



Account Settings
Share Feedback
Log Out

Register this device to receive push notifications