Is poutine offensive?

The Canadian embassy in Washington is apologizing to Impératif français, among others, after it used a photoshopped picture of Samuel de Champlain holding a poutine on invites (now scrubbed of the poutine offensiveness) to Canada Day celebrations. IF reacted to the image with their usual measured response.

Perhaps I missed something in Political Correctness 101, but what’s so offensive about this again? Is it some stereotype that we eat poutine? Is it because the image of Champlain was sullied in some way?

Frankly, I think the fact that Canadian Press had to explain what poutine was is offensive to me.

10 thoughts on “Is poutine offensive?

  1. BruB

    I’m a separatist and trust me, even this is stupid to me. Impératif français are extremists that can do nothing else but stir s**t. Like in any religion, political party and utopia, you will find these extremists that don’t really know what they ask. So for all seperatist that read Fagstein and other Montreal’s english blogs, I apologize.

    According to the article, the Canadian Embassy’s image of Champlain with a poutine is a proof that the feds still ignore our existance. How the fuck can you say that, if they are using Champlain with a poutine, it should be the ROC that should be offended by not having nothing that represent’s english Canada. Champlain founded Quebec and Poutine comes from Drummondville (or Victo I think) can’t really get more Québécois than that.

    I do have to agree with the article when it says that it was in bad taste, but offensive, not at all, almost funny.

  2. Eric

    LOL Political Correctness 101. Actually, this was a better choice then their original ideas; Champlain holding a Labatt Bleu, holding a Player’s Light… sorry, Leger, or my favorite, Champlain blowing up a mailbox.

    Aside from those choices the invitation designers had no idea what else distinguished Quebec as unique.

  3. Orlando Gomero

    Can’t displease everyone.
    I figured my reaction would be like yours when I saw it. Actually not. He looks much better holding the astrolabe. That seems to be the statue of him now @ Nepean Point here in Ottawa.

  4. Frank

    Meh, would these be the same knee-jerkers who’d criticize Muslims for their reaction over caricatures of Mohammed?
    Add to PC 101 the popular course of Hypocrisy 101; they’ll dish it out (no pun here) at anglo, jew, asian, and other cultures but beware if the reverse takes place!

  5. Marc

    It was just plain stupid is all. Apologies are fine. You can’t really demand resignations due to inane things.

  6. dan

    what i find most ironic is that if IF hadn’t made a fuss, no one outside of a small group of D.C.-based diplomats would have ever known this sign existed. now everyone across canada has seen it, given a little chuckle, and then dismissed the IF as an irrelevant bunch of shit-disturbers (even if their name is somewhat clever).

  7. Tim

    In my opinion, any sympathy this cause may have deserve (ouin… je suppose que si moi j’avais aucun sens de l’humour pis que je prennais tout au sérieux, moi aussi je serais offusqué) should have fizzled when they went asking for the prime minister’s head over it. You may judge it to be of poor taste, I’m willing to respect that as a difference of opinion, but it was obviously meant to be cute and not offensive, and to portray it that way is disingenuous. To attempt to use it as some sort of political weapon is to make a mockery of yourself.

    Now, the Canadian embassy at Washington’s web page is English-only; that’s worthy of complaint! Plus, it’s within the scope of IF’s mission! (Unless this is a roundabout way of launching sister-organization «Impérative Représentation fidèle des figures historiques auprès du gouvernement fédéral».)

  8. lagatta

    About the only group that would have a legitimate beef are the many Québec producers of fine artisanal foods (cheeses, beers, etc) who wouldn’t like people to think QuébécoisEs eat nothing but junk food.

    Other than that, it is a tempest in a teapot. Poutine doesn’t have the same derogatory meaning as “pea soup” or “pepsi” used to – I’ve never heard anyone called a poutine (except Vladimir Putin, in French) and people of all ethnic origins here eat it … at least some of them do.


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