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Roberge sends the OQLF to verify the place of French in major junior hockey

Photo: Karoline Boucher La Presse canadienne Le ministre Jean-François Roberge a déploré que les responsables du circuit sportif n’accordent pas une place plus importante à la langue officielle du Québec.

The Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) will ensure that French is respected by the Maritimes Quebec Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ), declared Thursday the Minister responsible for the French Language, Jean-François Roberge.< /p>

Mr. Roberge deplored that those responsible for the sports circuit do not give more importance to the official language of Quebec.

According to the minister, the OQLF will see to what extent the practices of the LHJMQ respect law 101.

“It makes no sense to have unilingual posters in English, to have Quebec teams who only have English terms on their jerseys,” he said. during a press briefing. I think that this does not respect, at the very least, the principle of the law. »

Mr. Roberge felt that league leaders must do better to reflect the environment in which its players perform.

“I think it is not acceptable that this league does not respect the French-speaking character of Quebec,” he declared. Quebec is the only French-speaking nation in America. We adopted a law which specifies that French is the only official language, the only common language in Quebec. »

A spokesperson for the OQLF, Chantal Bouchard, then declared that “the Office will carry out the necessary verifications with the QMJHL and request the appropriate corrections, if necessary”.

In Henryville, where he made an announcement for the agricultural sector, Prime Minister François Legault judged that the league should respect French more.

“It’s not acceptable,” he said. We have an official language which is French. The jerseys of the Quebec major junior hockey league should be in French,” he said.

Sweaters and posters

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon protested on Wednesday against the unilingualism of the jerseys worn by QMJHL players. Photos showed players from the Drummondville Voltigeurs dressed in unilingual English jerseys, and from the Chicoutimi Saguenéens in a room where the posters all appeared in English.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon stressed that it is not by giving such space to English that the QMJHL will encourage English-speaking players to learn French.

“I understand that there are accommodations, but here, we are really faced with a lack of consideration and respect for the Quebec language in the league which develops our Quebec players in our national sport” , he said.

Before Mr. Roberge's intervention, the Minister of Sport, Leisure and Outdoors, Isabelle Charest, had recognized her legal and regulatory helplessness in the face of the growing place of English in the QMJHL.

“I invite the Quebec Maritime Junior Hockey League to show kindness towards French,” she said. We are in Quebec and we want our players to speak French. »

His colleague Simon Jolin-Barrette, Minister of Justice, had sharp words against the director of communications of the QMJHL, Raphaël Doucet.

“Listen, it’s a sports league in Quebec, it doesn’t make sense for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to answer what they answered,” he replied. said. They should think about their impact in Quebec society and promote French. »

In a response to Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, Mr. Doucet stated that the objective of the QMJHL was to prepare its players for the professional circuits where English is used without exception. He recognized that the sweaters of the Voltigeurs players should have been in French, “or, at least, bilingual”.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116