Even though opposition at City Hall accuses him of unfairly treating a restaurant owner of Korean descent, Mayor Marchand refused to apologize and maintained that he never intended to target “a particular case “.
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“I’m not going to apologize for believing that we can live in French here”, dropped Mayor Marchand late Monday afternoon, during an impromptu press before the municipal council.
The latter also condemned “the incivilities” experienced by the restaurateur from Sillery since the publication of information on the fact that it was practically impossible to have service in French in his establishment.
Photo credit Taïeb Moalla / JdeQ
“We don’t have to hit this gentleman or commit incivility […]. There are others [restaurateurs] who serve in English”, added the mayor, repeating that the law in Quebec provides that the service must be given in French.
Bruno Marchand insisted on the importance of “benevolence” towards newcomers and he assured “that we must be better” to help them learn French.
“If he [le restaurateur coréen] is moving to Montreal, that’s not good news. This is not what we want at all,” he pointed out.
Asked about the criticisms issued Friday by the leader of Quebec first, Claude Villeneuve, the mayor argued that the leader of the opposition had been “quickly on the trigger looking for a way to attack and find his space” .
Without attributing “bad intentions” to the mayor, Mr. Villeneuve claimed that last week’s exit from Mr. Marchand had been “clumsy”.
“What I would have liked to have come out of Mr. Marchand’s message is the help that must be given to this tradesman then the outstretched hand. Not the end where we find that he does not comply. I don’t see a refusal to comply. I see a difficulty in adapting,” he said.
According to him, the mayor’s remarks made it possible to free the word of certain people “with dark feelings”, he regretted.
For his part, Jackie Smith, head of Transition Quebec, regretted the fact that the mayor did not offer his apologies to the restaurateur of Korean origin. “The mayor does not realize that he has hurt a tradesman. He gave an image of intolerance to the City of Quebec. I find it really disturbing not to recognize the hurt he has caused and to apologize for it, ”she lamented.