Quebec, as you may know, is the fiercely francophone province of Canada that has held two failed secession votes and somehow still remains part of Canada. The question “is Quebec a part of Canada?” is loaded with centuries of history and ton(ne)s of baggage. So, of course, Best Buy Canada stepped in the middle of it in the interest of selling some TVs.
Yesterday, July 1, was Canada Day. That’s the day that commemorates when the United Kingdom united their four remaining North American colonies into one country: the Dominion of Canada. It’s like Independence Day, only without the actual independence from Britain. That came later, but the Dominion Day date stuck as a Canadian national holiday.
In Quebec, it happens that many leases end on June 30th, making Canada Day the optimal time to pack up your apartment and move. “Moving Day” is a holiday there, though not an official one. Just the kind that you might see in store flyers to encourage you to buy crap.
So there’s a holiday that might encourage people to buy new electronics as they move into a new space in only one province, and the national holiday in the entire country. How did Best Buy handle it? By leading with Moving Day on flyers distributed in Quebec, and Canada Day on flyers distributed everywhere else.
Since we are talking about Quebec, after all, here’s the Moving Day flyer in French:
Reader Trapper Jock submitted this story, and she explained how it looks to Canadians:
The nexus of this is that Quebec is quite nationalistic and many French speaking Quebec citizens push for sovereignty from the rest of Canada. By placing an ad in Quebec that is for the English speaking population (who want to remain in Canada), and ignores Canada Day replacing it with Moving Day, while the of both French and English Canada outside of Quebec got Canada Day sales ads, shows that once again, an American company doesn’t get it.
Though, as we already showed you above, the French ad distributed in Quebec postal codes also refers to Moving Day.
In a statement to CBC News, a Best Buy representative explained that they didn’t set out to exclude Quebec from Canada: it’s just that they have this special holiday that lends itself to selling stuff more than Canada Day does.
Like every year, we feel it is important to recognize the Moving Day holiday in Quebec because it is a significant day in this market and it’s the only place in Canada where this happens. We want to celebrate and recognize this as an important day.
Well, we were paraphrasing.