Quebec Is Finally Giving Up On English Language Laws

The OQLF loses its battle.
Quebec Is Finally Giving Up On English Language Laws

Here's an interesting bit of news that doesn't happen too often in Quebec.

It seems like the OQLF has been misinterpreting the language laws and enforcing rules that didn't actually exist.

The Couillard government wanted to force multinationals to add french descriptions to their signage, but the Quebec court pointed out that they actually can't enforce that rule.

Eight big businesses were being targeted specifically. The businesses in question were Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Curves, Guess, Gap, Old Navy and Toys 'R' Us.

The last time the language issue was discussed, the courts sided with the multinationals claiming that it was not necessary to add French desriptions to businesses with English trademarks.

In fact, in April of last year, five judges from the court of appeal concluded that the OQLF was not allowed to force businesses with English trademarks to add a french description to their signs.

Here's why there was so much confusion about the rule. 

Under the Bouchard Government, it was established that you could not force a chain of businesses to modify their names if they are a registered trademark.

Under the Charest Government, the law was misinterpreted so the OQLF thought they could force these businesses to add a french description, and if they didn't comply they wanted to be able to fine them and take away their francization certificate. As it turns out they weren't actually allowed to do that.

This was later confirmed when the Conseil Canadien du Commerce de Détail obtained a legal notice that stated the OQLF was not interpreting the laws correctly.

Do you think that this new information will help business flourish again in Quebec?


Ah, the OQLF, the Quebec agency charged with promoting the French language and enforcing laws that protect it.

In addition to providing resources for French learners and launching campaigns to encourage its use, the office also investigates possible violations of the Charter of the French Language, or Bill 101. Commonly referred to as the collection of the province's "language laws," Bill 101 establishes rules for the use of French in commercial activity.

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The OQLF is working to keep French as the language of business. The office announced that on October 21, a Quebec court fined a Montreal-based real estate broker $1,500 for violating the language law on ads and publications.

Qiang Zhong Inc., a real estate broker, was accused of "not having written in French the commercial publications posted on its Facebook page," according to a press release. The accusation followed a complaint.

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Let's take a mot-clic #égoportrait. In November 2021, the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) conducted a campaign to get young Quebecers to use French on social media.

Partage ton français Office québécois de la langue française | YouTube

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4 Quebec Businesses Have Been Fined For French Language Violations This Year — Here's Why

The OQLF announced new infractions, along with the reasons for them.

According to the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), four Montreal businesses have been fined for violating Quebec's Charter of the French Language this year so far. 

The OQLF published new press releases explaining the reasons for the fines.

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