And the BBC's initial report got the news a little wrong
Published on: December 2, 2017 | Last Updated: December 2, 2017 12:16 PM EST
The unanimous vote in the National Assembly urging businesses to greet customers with a warm “Bonjour” instead of the common “Bonjour-Hi,” which premier Philippe Couillard had hoped wouldn’t become another Pastagate, has been reported by the foreign press.
The BBC picked up the story, noting that, “Bonjour-Hi” had long been the city’s “unofficial greeting.”
An earlier version of the story was
with the factually incorrect headline, “Canada province bans shopkeepers from saying ‘Bonjour-Hi’.” In fact, the resolution does not carry the clout of a law or regulation. The article’s headline was subsequently corrected.
Canada province bans shopkeepers from saying 'Bonjour-Hi' https://t.co/LgPCvAlZTr— BBC North America (@BBCNorthAmerica) December 1, 2017
The body of the story continued to incorrectly state that Quebec passed “a motion mandating store clerks to greet customers only in French.”
As the debate, begun by Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée, progressed before the vote Thursday, Couillard had declared, “We’re not interested in getting involved in a Pastagate 2.”
Pastagate refers to the 2013 incident, in which an Italian restaurant received a warning from language inspectors over the use of “pasta” and other Italian words on its menu without equivalent French translations. The episode produced international headlines such as “Quebec’s War on English” in Time and “Quebec language police try to ban ‘pasta’ from Italian restaurant menu” in The Guardian. A year later, The Atlantic cited Pastagate in an article on scandals that take the -gate suffix.
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