Canadian PM Rapped for Speaking French
He should've responded to questions in English, critics say
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2017 9:02 AM CST
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks with customers at a Quebec restaurant this week. He was criticized for speaking only French at a forum.   (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
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(Newser) – How do you say "he stepped in it" in French? Though he leads an officially bilingual country, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was rapped for slipping into the language of Moliere instead of sticking to Shakespeare. No fewer than three official complaints were lodged with Canada's Commissioner of Official Languages after Trudeau decided to speak only in French, even when answering questions posed in English, Tuesday night at a town hall forum in Quebec's Eastern Townships, CBC News reports. One attendee tells CBC the move was "very insulting" to the anglophone minority there. Another huffed that Trudeau's words were "as if someone had just walked up to me and hit me in the stomach. I lost my breath."

If the PM thought he'd find solidarity among francophones, he was wrong. CBC says even they "appeared puzzled." As his political opponents complained about his "arrogance," Trudeau seemed to have second thoughts. While emphasizing "the importance of speaking French" in Quebec, he told reporters maybe he should've replied in English, per the Star. The youthful PM's gaffes have been a running meme on social media. Trudeau was ridiculed worldwide in November for his warm words after the death of Fidel Castro, with nary a mention of the dictator's abysmal human rights record. (Trudeau has also been a star of fake news.)

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