Hockey Canada’s French-name policy critized by Quebec-based politicians

MONTREAL — Hockey Canada was widely criticized Wednesday after a news report indicated a public address announcer at the Winter Olympics was told by the national governing body to stop using French pronunciations for the names of some Canadian players.

Federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly said she was “extremely surprised” by Hockey Canada’s position, while Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called it ”deplorable” and “ridiculous.”

A story in Le Journal de Montreal said Sebastien Goulet, the French-speaking PA announcer at the Gangneung arena at the Winter Games, was told by a Hockey Canada official to stop using French pronunciations for Team Canada players Derek Roy, Rene Bourque and Marc-Andre Gragnani.

On Tuesday, Hockey Canada responded to the article with a statement saying player names like Roy and Bourque should be pronounced the way they say it them themselves, rather than using the French pronunciations. Roy and Bourque are common names in Quebec.

Joly said her office was “on the file” and would work with the office of Sports Minister Kirsty Duncan in order to get Hockey Canada to change its policy.

She said Hockey Canada’s decision was “highly questionable” and added that “we always have to affirm the important of the French language.”

Couillard said, “as francophones, we need to object to this and to protest this strongly.”

“I am waiting for Hockey Canada to rectify the situation immediately. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Padcal Berube, a Parti Quebecois member of the legislature, said he was outraged.

“It’s insulting,” he said. “It’s a lack of respect. Especially as French is an official language at the Olympics.”

Hockey Canada’s statement also said the organization “respects all players, their background and their culture and makes best efforts to ensure that player names are pronounced as the player desires.”

Just Posted

Cannabis facility proposed for Clearwater County

Cannabis production facility proposed south of Caroline would produce 30,000 kg of cannabis a year

Two Central Alberta country singers are finalists in career-launching contest

They will attend music industry ‘boot camp’ this summer

Transit changes to aid Burman University students

An additional evening trip and student bus passes to be in place by fall

WATCH: Province, Maskwacis Cree Nations sign educational agreement

Funding and support will help the First Nations develop a Cree-based curriculum

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates World Refugee Day

The Central Alberta Refugee Effort hosted multiple events around Red Deer Wednesday

Red Deer high school student psyched for SHAD

Lindsay Thurber’s Kaden Nivens will head to Newfoundland for the annual program in July

Red Deer College team tackles lack of Indigneous inclusion in research projects

A local college research team has completed a lengthy project examining the… Continue reading

Officials make case against parents accused of child abuse

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Prosecutors made their case Wednesday against a Southern California… Continue reading

Manitoba educational assistant sentenced to 3 1/5 years for sex with student

WINNIPEG — A former educational assistant in Winnipeg has been sentenced to… Continue reading

Conservatives can ‘win anywhere,’ Scheer says in welcoming Richard Martel

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer welcomed the newest member of his… Continue reading

Fans grieve as detectives search for XXXTentacion’s killers

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — For hours, the fans came in a steady… Continue reading

Canadian steel not a national security threat on its own: US commerce secretary

OTTAWA — The U.S. commerce secretary says Canada is not a national… Continue reading

Camargo lifts Braves over Blue Jays with first career grand slam

Braves 11 Blue Jays 4 TORONTO — Jaime Garcia is searching for… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month