WATCH: "Bonjour, Hi"controversy; Minister surprised by backlash

The Minister responsible for Quebec's English speaking community says she is surprised by the backlash over last week's National Assembly motion urging merchants to greet clients with Bonjour, instead of Bonjour, Hi.

Kathleen Weil tells CTV Montreal that the motion, which passed unanimously, is symbolic and carries no legal weight.

She says the initial version, introduced by the PQ, was rejected because it referred to the bilingual greeting as an irritant.

“I thought the premier said it best,” said Weil. “If you say that it's shocking to hear English, that's unacceptable. So that was removed and that was the problem for us. We would never have supported it if it had been in its original version, but once all that was removed, what was the negative message in it? There was no negative message.”

Weil's riding office has been dealing with angry emails and phone calls since the Liberals voted in favour of the bill.

With files from CTV Montreal