Although bars and restaurant dining halls in Quebec have been closed for some time now, that hasn't stopped the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) from reaching out to local spots when complaints are received about French-language matters regarding their business.
As if times weren't already tough enough for Montreal's Blue Dog Motel, the owners shared on social publications that they recently received a notice from the OQLF about the bar's use of English in its Facebook posts.
The subject of OQLF's letter to the Blue Dog Motel read "Complaint about publications on a social media and the company name," to which the Montreal bar responded in a Facebook post saying "Thank you to the person who filed the complaint. I hope you have a great day." But this time, it was written in French.
According to the OQLF's letter that the Montreal bar shared, a complaint was received about its Facebook posts, the services it offers in Quebec and the name that the company uses on its social media.
"We therefore wish to inform you that, according to the Charter, it is against the law to publish a business publication that is not in French. A recent inspection revealed that the information published on the Facebook account of your company was not entirely in French," the letter continued.
The OQLF wrote that posts can be in other languages besides French, "as long as the French language is at least as the same degree of prominence."
And Blue Dog's company name was also mentioned in the letter. "The Charter of the French Language provides certain rules regarding the names of companies. According to sections 63 and 68 of the Charter, the name of a business must be in the French language."
The owner of Blue Dog told MTL Blog "We will do nothing because we are currently closed. We find it insulting to nitpick about our Facebook posts while we are closed and prevented from operating. Why they thought this was a pressing issue during a pandemic is beyond me."
As per the screenshot Blue Dog shared, the OQLF asked the bar to contact them by February 21 to discuss the "violations" and talk about the "most appropriate solutions" for their business moving forward.