“There wasn’t as much French as we were expecting”

Heritage Minister says he was disappointed by the predominance of English at the Opening Ceremonies


Federal Heritage Minister James Moore says Friday’s Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver could have used a little more je ne sais quoi. “They were beautiful, they were spectacular on television, but there should have been more French,” Moore told the CBC. “I was disappointed there wasn’t as much French as we were expecting, as we were told that there was going to be.” Of course, there was some French used at the eleborate ceremony—VANOC chairman John Furlong delivered parts of his speech in French;  Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean officially opened the Games in French and then in English; and speed-skating referee Michel Verreault took the Officials’ Olympic Oath in French. But Moore says he expects the Games to be “entirely bilingual.”

Montreal Gazette

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“There wasn’t as much French as we were expecting”

  1. Not enough?? Considering French was the the first word spoken, and all the signage had French on top and English on the Bottom,, everything was French first and English Second,, I think Mr. Moore should go back and view the footage.. French took ""prefrence'' over English from the get go!!!!

    • French is the preferred IOC language (though both it and English are official), so it always takes precedence at the Olympics (modern Olympics being invented by a Frenchman at a time when French was still the predominant language of diplomacy). While I don't mind the lack of French, it is puzzling given the circumstance.

      Heck, I was surprised it took that long for Jacques Rogge to switch to French in his speech. As a Belgian in Canada from the IOC, nothing in that job description suggests he should say anything beyond a token word or two in English.

  2. This wouldn't be an authentically Canadian even if it wasn't accompanied by arguments about whether French got a fair showing.

  3. I thought that spoken french was comparable to spoken english but surprised that quebecois culture and artists were not more prominent. Did Celine Dion and Cirque de Soliel decline? I would have traded that weird English poem/rap thing near the end by that fat kid for Cirque and definitely traded Nelly Furtado for Celine. Caveat – I'm an anglophone from Toronto. Vive le Quebec!!!

    • it's ironic but not politically correct to mention that quebec is more foreign to canadians than the usa ..like really, who outside of quebec buys french music or books or magazenes …theire probably in the foreign section at chapters..big acts like celine dion know that they wouldn't be selling out vegas in french

      • "The world-famous singer was in hospital at the time of the ceremonies, for treatments to help her conceive a second child.

        "Céline Dion was thrilled to be asked, and she was disappointed not to be able to come, and we would have loved to have her," Ms. Smith-Valade said."

        if you're going to be a jerk, at least be honest about it.

        • I skimmed the article and missed that line, so I honestly was bemused at why she declined to attend. Sorry about the mistake.

  4. Harper had five paragraphs and a brief thank you in French in his 12 page speech to the BC legislature, but apparently the Prime Minister is allowed to pander to a BC audience just fine. But when it comes to a ceremony broadcast worldwide, Mr. look-at-my-cool-windsor-knot suddenly feels safe pointing a finger?

  5. What happened to the aboriginal natives of Canada, and their
    language. It's difficult to respect French for what they had done to the
    people already living in Canada. French was not the first language in
    Canada, and french were not the first people here in Canada. French
    and English have made some natives drinkers. All the countries that
    tried to take land away from other peoples are not kindly people -I'll
    never forget it.

    • Go Home!

    • Oh give me a break Darlingsapphire! Nobody is taking your language away from you any more than they took your (?) land! I don't remember seeing any land titles displayed by your anscestors, and what were the prices of Gas and Oil 150 yrs ago? Suck it up and get a life!

  6. the olympics aside…..we should really get rid of bilingualism in BC, it makes no sense statistically …in British Columbia only 0.5% are francophone, then the government wants us to treat French as equal to English …realy it would make more sense that there should have been more chinese and some indian included in the ceremony as well as some native languages

  7. ….for that matters since this topic has come up there also is'nt enough mohawk, blackfoot, cree, ojibway….who decided to give these french speaking humans thinking they are better then others…best yo quebecois get off your high horseees fellas all that bee ess has to end!….move over french quebecois….separate!…. we can do without the people numbers and the constant complaining not to mention the cut from federal coffers….(as in all my posts my decisions can change in a split second somewhat similarly as politicians of which i am not!)

  8. ….about time someone starts speaking out about the plight of marginalized people left out by greed and confidence artists!
    the old days are gone and i am rearing to take part in newness! i luv and appreciate the privilege we have (yet!) of the ability to share opinions and realizing intellectually one is as good as the other…diversity is a good excuse for politics….there are others means to educate, enlighten and an excellent time to start to begin to commence!

  9. I thought it was quite ridiculous to have the word "Canada" spoken in French, then in English (i.e. spoken the same twice). The PC BS surrounding our official languages is mind-numbing.

    I thought the aboriginal involvement was nice, but WAY overdone. Its going to give international observers the false impression that we have a healthy, respectful relationship with our First Nations. It was very propanganda-ish.

  10. You're right, Jim.D. I guess mentioning, in English French, Cree, Inuktituk or whatever, the suicide rate, alcoholism, drugs, glue and gas sniffing, the third world aparteid living conditions, the illiteracy, welfare dependentcy, corrupt band finances, Mohawk ethnic cleansing, abysmal school attendance and that half or more of school age kids are fetal alcohol syndrome, the abuse, insane child welfare policies, skyrocketing birth rates, Aids, TB, wild dogs, rates of incarceration, child abandonment, etc etc. would not make for good theatre. And I can hear the politically correct howls of residential school abuse from 50 years ago as the cause of it all.

    As for not enough French? Good gawd- Given the Quebecois, the rest of us know that even if the ENTIRE programme was in French from start to finish, and included La Marseillaise, it still wouldn't be enough.

    • Your good,,my hat is off to Sir………..

  11. According to the 2006 Census, roughly 21% of Canadians speak French. Seems to me more than 20% of the content at the opening of the Games was French.

    • i read the stats too …there's also the question knowledge of english……a lot of people don't know that over 50% of quebecers apparently claim to be able to speak english ….and over 90% of canadians ……most canadians outside of quebec however don't claim to be able to speak french …about 90%

  12. What the heck is wrong with our French reps. They are like that whining 8 year old in the back seat of a car. I almost expected a landing platform to morph onto James Moore's bottom lip.
    This country is not founded on ' what have you done for me lately'!
    How nice would it be for Quebec to stand up one day and express what they can do for our country! Why do they always have to sound like socialist nuts who never get enough to be satisfied. The French Canadians are NOT LOSERS but your bloody representatives and leaders definitely are!

  13. Wouldn't have mattered if the whole thing was in French. Quebec would still be complaining, besides there were a zillion other ethnic and special interest groups that had to be pandered to. Take a number and get in line with all the other whiners. Oh, and would you care for some fromage with that whine?

    • Well…I'm a french canadian and I also think there was not enough french in the opening ceremony. The french re-broadcast was also unbearable but that's another problem…thanks ctv! The problem is…politician are trying to keep this alive to win votes. Quebec has a lot of seets that swing in each federal election. Tory's are looking good in this…And they are the one that started this in the first place.

      And by the way, the ever complaining french is Montreal Based sub culture…If someone as a tugboat powerfull enough to pull that island in the middle of the ocean…plz step forward.

      • i agree with Wayne ..they were going to use this as a politifal issue no matter what …it doesn't even matter that they spent millions on french for the olympics even though there is little demand out here …they even have a french area set up on granville island where they will broadcast the olympics in french to the tourists who won't understand it and will wish it was in english

        • At least the attempt was made, and an honest one to..Is there really any way of pleasing these people or do they just have the Need to find fault in everything??? Just wondering!!!

  14. I think it did feel more English than French, but then it was held in BC. There isn't very many Quebecois living in BC. To me, the whole thing; the Aboriginal element; the token French; as usual, felt forced. We Anglophones do our best, but it's always a difficult line to straddle.

    What really bit my biscuit was the singing of the national anthem. I don't think I've ever heard someone make love to our national anthem before. I felt a little dirty afterwards.

  15. Moore has not done his job. He should have checked on his people if he intended to have both official languages well represented. You do not moan that the cake has not arrived when it is dessert time!. I think most Canadians have forgotten the true meanings of the Olympics. The eyes of the world is looking at us and I am sure they cannot wait for us to go for a long nap.

  16. in the opening ceremony everytime they would speak french i imagine most canadians would tune out and not pay attention, but when they spoke english nearly every canadian could understand ..that in essence, is why bilingualism doesn't really make sensec ..i could, however, see how bilingualism makes sense in quebec ..however, you may notice quebec has declared themselves french only and goes out of their way to not present english as an equal

  17. Aw suck it up you Pompous French Clowns! Start putting something into the country for once or shut up!!

  18. Whats with French, who make up a minority and shoving this stupid language issues on all North Americans. They want all websites sprucing from Quebec to be bilingual, or close down!! Can you believe that!? Democracy!! Yea right.

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