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

Updated: Man posing as U.S. Marine sentenced

Peter Toth pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing military decorations and documents

Police: Maryland school shooter used his father’s handgun

GREAT MILLS, Md. — A teenager used his father’s legally-owned handgun in… Continue reading

Alberta judge wants changes to how peace officers handle unstable people

CALGARY — An Alberta judge is recommending changes to how peace officers… Continue reading

Art Battle Red Deer to support Women of Excellence Awards

Art Battle Red Deer will be April 6 at the Radisson Hotel

WATCH: Red Deerians can have a say about crime fighting

Municipality will poll citizens about policing priorities

Facebook crisis-management lesson: What not to do

NEW YORK — The crisis-management playbook is pretty simple: Get ahead of… Continue reading

Calgary remains interested in 2026 bid, but awaits word from feds, province

Calgary city council approved a slate of moves towards a possible bid… Continue reading

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to girl, 14, in Canada, police say

American authorities say a 14-year-old girl in Canada has been charged with… Continue reading

Comedian Mike MacDonald remembered for gut-busting mental health advocacy

If laughter is the best medicine, then standup veteran Mike MacDonald was… Continue reading

The Weeknd, Bruno Mars to headline Lollapalooza in Chicago

CHICAGO — The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys will… Continue reading

No rest for the retired: Opioid crisis fills empty nests as grandparents step up

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — She is a Newfoundland woman who worked hard… Continue reading

Duclos defends gender-neutral language amid criticism from opposition

MONTREAL — Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos defended Service Canada’s decision to ask… Continue reading

Lawyer and negotiator: Thomas Molloy is new Saskatchewan lieutenant-governor

REGINA — Lawyer and negotiator Thomas Molloy has been sworn in as… 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