Ben and Jerry's vs. the OQLF?

Posted By: Richard Deschamps · 12/12/2012 4:18:00 PM

Seems Quebec's language authorities have an issue with, of all things, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

A local Ben and Jerry's manager says, he's been harassed by the OQLF all summer.

Luke Brown says his trouble with the OQLF began in June, when an off-duty OQLF agent walked into his store and told him a bilingual chalkboard outside his store ran afoul of the law.

"He said, 'why is this written in English? This is not acceptable.'" Brown said. "He put up a little scene. He started, not threatening, but said, 'you will be hearing from us.'"

He then says over the next few months, he got a series of letters from the OQLF detailing a number of complaints about things like some English words on his signs, and receipts, about some of Ben and Jerry's popular flavor names like Chunky Monkey, and even about the words Peace and Love on his ice-cream cups.

He insists he has taken steps to comply with the language law.

Martin Bergeron, with the OQLF, says if that's the case, Brown has nothing more to worry about.

"If they did make some changes and did comply...then the case will be closed," Bergeron says.

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  1. chuck posted on 12/12/2012 04:34 PM
    the quebec language gestapo at its best....a small business subjected to open harassment by a representative of the qovernment and supported no doubt by the higher ups. a lot of very small minded and vindictive people making it poisonous to display, speak or write the english language. back in the day this was called a witch hunt!
  2. Steve posted on 12/12/2012 04:50 PM
    ".....let them eat cake"
  3. Diane Freeman posted on 12/12/2012 05:26 PM
    This is all too sad to stir this stuff up.. Especially in economic down times it is even more depressing.. Living in their own echo chamber the folks who support this stuff DO NOT realize that other Canadians and others are watching.. those New York bond agencies may not appreciate the restrictions of rights for Christmas! An American company too perhaps they have an International Traddemark for the flavours.!

  4. sam posted on 12/12/2012 05:58 PM
    I would like to thank Mr. Luke Brown for bringing this to the media's attention I seen the pic of his establishment and the letter he was given by the Lingo Lunatics and I cannot see how he did not comply. I think these OLF rejects have robocop syndrome and need to back down .
    I hope more people will share their OLF experiences with the public and make us aware of what is truly going on. Its time to fully expose what is happening here.

    Seriously.. do we want to lose Ben and Jerry's???? Come on Quebec WAKE UP.
  5. John F. posted on 12/12/2012 08:26 PM
    This is another example of "Bullying" by the OQLF and the only way to stop a "Bully" is to stand up to one and "Bully" back.

    Sad state of affair that we have to put with garbage until the MAJORITY of the population stands up and pushes back.

    Enough is Enough!!
  6. MH posted on 12/12/2012 11:27 PM
    I'm just sooooo happy that that OQLF agent's BIGGEST social problem is the anglo signs and names of ice-creams at B & J's. What a great contribution he's making to humanity by nitpicking all summer! Give the guy medal!
  7. Stephen posted on 12/12/2012 11:48 PM
    To think i pay taxes for this never ending pettiness from these English hating linguistic supremacists, makes me feel like throwing up! I truly feel, sooner or later this will all end badly.
  8. Carol posted on 12/13/2012 12:44 AM
    In Vermont, the birthplace of Ben& Jerry's, restaurants and other busineses go out of their way to serve Quebecers in the French language. I hope tourists from Vermont and the other states realize the lack of respect for their English language in Quebec and decide to spend their vacation dollars elsewhere.
  9. alrev posted on 12/13/2012 06:23 AM
    Nothing new here we had a Ben & Jerrys 10 years ago and they were hassling then!
  10. Judy posted on 12/13/2012 02:23 PM
    Huh! Money for OLF ... not hospitals, roads, or education.
    Soon, Quebec will become 3rd world country of welfare recipients; once all those who can see the writing on the wall, take their money (i.e. government tax revenue) and depart for more tolerant provinces.
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