Montreal pub warned TripAdvisor sticker could violate language laws

MONTREAL -- The owner of a Montreal pub says he was shocked to receive a letter from the province's French-language watchdog warning him that a small sticker in the restaurant's window could contravene Quebec's language laws.

See Full Article

Paul Desbaillets, who co-owns the Burgundy Lion Pub in the southwest of Montreal, said the business received a warning earlier this week from the Office Quebecois de la Langue Francais (OQLF) over a beer-coaster-sized sticker that states -- in English only -- that the establishment has been recommended by users of the popular travel website tripadvisor.ca.

" 1/8The letter 3/8 said we needed to pay attention to the TripAdvisor sticker -- the three inch sticker -- that is in our window," Desbaillets said. "It said that that the words 'recommended on' could be an issue with the language laws in Quebec."

Desbaillets' business partner Toby Lyle posted the story on Facebook, where it was widely shared. He included photos of the sticker, which is placed about two feet above the ground next to a much larger, French-only sticker promoting recycling.

"Notice to all restaurateurs: If you are fortunate enough to be well reviewed on TripAdvisor, don't let anyone know about it," Lyle wrote.

Desbaillets said that although the tone of the letter wasn't threatening, his first reaction was one of disbelief that the province would spend tax dollars on "some of the most ridiculous signage issues and language conversations you can think of" instead of on more important issues.

"If this is where money and resources and efforts are being thrown when they could instead be thrown into job creation, business growth, immigration help...that doesn't help business growth overall," he said.

Desbaillets said he has previously received a complaint from the OQLF over the use of the words "fish and chips" at another restaurant he co-owns, Brit & Chips.

Jean-Pierre Le Blanc of the OQLF said the letter was one of more than 300 that were sent simply to inform business owners that the stickers are also available in French.

"We noticed over the years that many companies were putting up small signs only in English," he said. "It's an information campaign aimed at notifying businesses that the information is also available in French or bilingual."

He said no complaints had been filed against the Burgundy Lion and no further action would be taken.

Desbaillets said that although his pub was "absolutely not" planning to remove the English-language TripAdvisor sticker, he had no problem adding a second one in French.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Mercy killings as deer struggle to cross N.B. river covered in thin ice

    Canada News CTV News
    A large number of deer are dying while trying to cross a New Brunswick river covered in thin ice. The deer are attempting to get to a deer yard where they spend most of their winter, but many aren’t surviving the Northwest Miramichi River crossing. Source
  • Mother of infant struck in stroller urges driver to turn himself in

    Canada News CTV News
    An Eastern Ontario mother who was out walking when a vehicle hit her infant daughter’s stroller, wants the driver to turn himself in to authorities. The incident happened in Kemptville, Ont., near Ottawa on Tuesday. Source
  • Officer slayings 'wreaked havoc' on rural Georgia community

    World News Toronto Sun
    A man wanted for killing a Georgia police officer and wounding another was found dead Thursday, apparently fatally shooting himself before a SWAT team stormed a home where a tipster reported the suspect was hiding. The manhunt for 32-year-old Minquell Lembrick ended a day after a gunman killed Americus police Officer Nicholas Smarr and critically wounded Officer Jody Smith of Georgia Southwestern State University. Source
  • Dear Santa, 'help them agree': Girl, 9, seeks end to N.S. teachers' dispute

    Canada News CTV News
    Layla El-Azzi’s letter to Santa Claus wasn’t a wish list filled with items such as a new bike, or clothes or the latest toy even. In fact, it wasn’t a list at all. The nine-year-old girl had one simple request for Saint Nick this year – to end the dispute between Nova Scotia’s government and the province’s public school teachers. Source
  • Trump picks fast-food CEO as labour secretary

    World News CBC News
    U.S. president-elect Donald Trump named fast-food executive Andy Puzder to head the Department of Labor on Thursday, drawing criticism from labour advocates worried about his opposition to a higher minimum wage and government regulation of the workplace. Source
  • Inmate coughs, heaves, during execution by injection

    World News Toronto Sun
    ATMORE, Ala. — Thirteen minutes into his execution by injection, an Alabama inmate heaved and coughed and appeared to move during tests meant to determine consciousness. Ronald Bert Smith Jr., 45, was finally pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. Source
  • 'Just a fun thing': SFU swimmers explain their dip in the snow

    Canada News CTV News
    Members of the Simon Fraser University swim team shed their coats and kicked off their boots as they went “swimming” on a snow covered football field. Donning only speedos and goggles, the group of swimmers dove into the shin-deep snow – unusual for Burnaby, B.C. Source
  • British fan flies to NYC to propose at 'Ghostbusters' firehouse

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — A British man flew his girlfriend all the way across the pond to New York City so he could propose to her at the firehouse used in the “Ghostbusters” franchise. Wearing a hard hat and safety vest, Giles Baugh dropped to one knee at Ladder 8 in Tribeca and asked Melissa Ward to marry him. Source
  • U.S. regulators mull allowing in-flight phone calls via plane's Wi-Fi

    World News CBC News
    Airlines could let passengers make in-flight phone calls using Wi-Fi under a proposal from federal regulators. Flight attendants and others have complained that the calls could be disruptive. But the Department of Transportation said Thursday that it envisioned allowing the calls if airlines tell all customers about the policy when they buy their tickets. Source
  • Paris battles rat infestations

    World News CTV News
    PARIS - Both the rat and Nadine Mahe des Portes panicked when she inadvertently stepped on the rodent on her walk back from work through Paris. "I heard a terrible squeak," the property agent recalled with a shudder. Source