Villeneuve opens restaurant with controversial name

The name for 'Newtown', which is the race car driver's Formula One nickname, has angered some language-conscious Quebeckers

Canadian race car driver Jacques Villeneuve added fuel to the simmering French-only language debate in Quebec Tuesday when he opened his new restaurant and night club, Newtown.

Some Quebeckers are angry that Villeneuve has chosen an English name for his restaurant. At least a dozen people have lodged formal complaints with Quebec French language office, the official guardian of the province's French-only language laws.

Newtown is the English translation of Villeneuve's surname, and it's his nickname on the Formula One racing circuit.

It's also trademarked, meaning it's exempt from Quebec's French-only sign laws.

Villeneuve, who is in Montreal for the coming weekend's Canadian Grand Prix brushed off the complaints, saying that Quebeckers angry about the name should "see further than the tip of your nose."

Villeneuve said that he had spent time in Switzerland with people who spoke three or four languages without it causing any problems.