OQLF now targeting Plateau bike shop

Posted By: Richard Deschamps · 2/21/2013 12:58:00 PM

A bike shop on the Plateau has become the latest target of Quebec's language police.

Bicycletterie J.R. on Rachel St. has been visited twice by inspectors with the Office Québécois de la Langue Française, which objected to a handful of signs posted in his store.

The offending signs are: one that advertises bike rental rates in English, a cute drawing that depicts a bird saying 'cuida tu carroceria' (watch your bodywork in Spanish), a novelty shop sign that says the same thing, and a couple of other novelty signs in English. One of them says, 'prices subject to change, according to customer's attitude', the other says, 'stupid mistakes are made by others; we only make unavoidable errors.'

All this was too much for an anonymous complainant to the OQLF.

Jaime Rosenbluth is the shop's owner. He's an immigrant from Bolivia who speaks four languages, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese, and serves his customers with ease in each of them. He says in the 25 years he's been in business on Rachel St., he's never had to confront Quebec's language politics, until now.

"They go into my privacy," says Rosenbluth of the manner in which the OQLF inspectors conducted their visit. "They go inside the place, and they're taking pictures of my business, my store, my little things that I have here that are really personal."

Rosenbluth says, he will comply with the OQLF's requests. In doing so, however, he'll take a page from the OQLF's playbook, and use a little masking tape.

"I'm going to put a cover on top of the signs, saying, in French: 'Warning. Non-French poster or sign underneath. Read at your own discretion.'

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  1. Gerry posted on 02/21/2013 01:50 PM
    I am not a proponent of civil unrest, but a general revolt is coming. Many people say the OQLF is only enforcing the law, but a bad law is still a bad law. That same law will have no teeth whatsoever if it is generally ignored by the population. No, civil unrest is not the answer, but passive disobedience will become the order of the day. Equally regrettable, but probably necessary.
    1. jim posted on 02/21/2013 02:21 PM
    2. kev posted on 02/21/2013 04:30 PM
      @Gerry '' Les anglais sont reveille ? '' LOL
  2. Julia Germain posted on 02/21/2013 02:03 PM
    Canadians should start boycotting all Quebec made goods and any good / services from Quebec Corporations. I live in Ontario now and am now going to stop shopping at Metro and avoid anything from La Belle Province. As for the english (my friends and family) still left in QC, shop/support only non-french business. Hit them where it hurts.
    Je me souviens.
    1. Theo posted on 02/21/2013 05:27 PM
      @Julia Germain I stopped doing business with Belair for home and auto insurance. Wherever possible, I will not give my money to Quebec French businesses.
    2. Theo posted on 02/21/2013 11:58 PM
      @Julia Germain Metro also owns Super C in Quebec. BOYCOTT. Metro owns Food Basics in Ontario. BOYCOTT.

      Jean Coutu is Quebec-based. BOYCOTT. Shop instead at Pharmaprix - owned by Ontario-based Shoppers Drug Mart.

      Rona is Quebec-based. BOYCOTT.
  3. canadian posted on 02/21/2013 02:23 PM
    Give 'em enough rope and they will hang themselves . Unfortunatelyu they make all Quebecers look like idiots to the whole world . This is the 21sr century .Ever hear of internet ?
  4. Skyaki posted on 02/21/2013 02:31 PM
    We live in Canada, outside the Province of Quebec.
    We are trying to get tourist information to help us plan our trip to that beautiful Province this summer.
    Our queries are met with French only literature and French speaking receptionists.
    How can they convince me to visit them?
    They are trying to sell themselves to nine predominantly English speaking provinces as well as the Unites States, also predominantly English speaking.
    Good Luck with that...
  5. Jerry posted on 02/21/2013 02:32 PM
    I would like to see a motion for the separation of Montreal from Quebec. Let the PQ separate east of St-Laurent and everything west would be a new province... Only then would there be peace and prosperity. In 10 years, they will be begging to rejoin the rest of Canada
    1. Theo posted on 02/22/2013 12:02 AM
      @Jerry If this nonsense from this terrible separatist government continues, Canada might hold a nation-wide referendum first - with a simple question - should Quebec be kicked out of Canada?
    2. Stephanie posted on 02/22/2013 03:15 AM
      @Jerry I've been saying this since 1995: Montreal should be a city state. That would be so sweet.
  6. Michalangelo posted on 02/21/2013 02:37 PM
    What is the precedent from a legal point of view for OQLF inspectors to enter a working premise from one complaint after 25 years in business on Rachel St.? Inside the store is not a public zone. How can this happen without a warrant.? What is the recourse for the French speaking owner to defend himself first before breaching his sanctity by entering the store under the pretext of taking evidence. In most courts of law the adversarial meeting with the complainer, who must be identified not anonymous, is established in front of some judicial body be it a jury or a judge. What happens if the wrong business is targeted ? Those other signs could be considered as personal art which is interpretable in the eye of the beholder. Meanwhile Mr Sidewalk denies stuffing $$$ into his socks asking the Charbonneau commission , 'to prove I got favors. ' Which is the more significant threat to the integrity of holding our society in equilibrium?
    1. Le Québécois posted on 02/23/2013 04:30 AM
      @Michalangelo "Inside the store is not a public zone."
      If it is commercial and open to the public then yes it is.

      " In most courts of law the adversarial meeting with the complainer"
      The complainer is the government trying to make the law respected. The person who made the complaint merely informed the governement that the law was infringed.

      Just like if I tell a policemen you are speeding and then if he sees it himself he will give you a ticket.
  7. Bike fan posted on 02/21/2013 02:44 PM
    What a cute little bike shop. I think I'll shop there. Thanks again to the OQLF for informing me about such a place and for supporting anotther local business with free publicity. Hopefully the profits you make will pay for any silly fines you get
  8. EauDeVie posted on 02/21/2013 02:46 PM
    The mass arrests of Jews, the largest in wartime France, were planned and carried out not by the Nazi occupiers but by the French. But of course, they were only enforcing the law...
    1. lylipoo posted on 02/21/2013 04:34 PM
      @EauDeVie Sooo well put! The law does not always mean justice or even logic for that matter!
    2. Le Québécois posted on 02/23/2013 04:33 AM
      @EauDeVie Yes we call them "collabo" (or anti-nationalists). But if you want to use that exemple then you are talking about french federalists. People who collaborate with the higher power occupying another nation.

      Or the "canadian" (english) minority in Québec working with the occupying governement to impose its values (english language dominance) on our nation.
  9. M-A posted on 02/21/2013 02:50 PM
    I think it is time that the multilingual population stands up and fights the OQLF and this ludicrous law. This oppression and targeting of others by the "french police" is no different than the racial targeting done by the Schutzstaffel and Gestapo under the Nazi regime. Granted language does not define race, however, this has gone beyond the English and French conflict as recently Italian, Portuguese and Spanish has been targeted by the OQLF. In a multicultural world it is time that Quebec, as a part of Canada, puts on its big boy pants a realize that we they are not alone but opened to the world in this age of mass media. There are no boundaries left, different races, languages and cultures mix and blend together everyday in Montreal and Quebec, that is what makes this city and province great. Yet this greatness cannot b recognized due to the xenophobic blemish and the ignorance of the OQLF and the pq party which backs it up. I for one am sick and tired of this and will no longer stand for it; I urge all multicultural and multilingual people to do the same.
    1. Le Québécois posted on 02/23/2013 04:36 AM
      @M-A again the nazi reference...

      As of now the only act of physical violence committed was by an english person towards french people (Mr. Bain)
  10. GUS posted on 02/21/2013 03:00 PM
    If I made a complainant to the health goverment about the waiting times and the heath care system would they respond as fast? just wondering.. Wow thank god we have our priorities straight, in this redneck town called Quebec.
  11. DonaldD_2 posted on 02/21/2013 03:19 PM
    These small minded people who report these things to the OQLF, anonymously, should stay out of these places and shop elsewhere. How maddening it is to have such stupidity going on. What a waste of money.
  12. Rudolph S posted on 02/21/2013 03:40 PM
    well, the red square twitts wanted this government in so they get free basket weaving courses, while the Maroisie is cutting everywhre else, the QLOf...ers got an increase in their budget, no wonder you can see them in action now.... Who is more intellectualy challenged, the ones who complain abut these signs or those who have to go after these aweful offenders....
    Did I just hear right on CJAD, the PQ scaped by a noncofident vote because there were not enough liberal MPs present.... why the f....... do we vote for this guys and pay them big MP salaries if they do not find it necessary to be there when it counts.... pls publish the names of these absentee representatives of the people... so we can throw them out the next time around
    1. Joel posted on 02/21/2013 04:57 PM
      @Rudolph S Actually I believe it was planned, The liberals did not want to overturn the government and send us back to the polls 1 month after the elections, since you have to vote if present, they told exactly the right amount of MP`s to stay home to ensure they wouldn`t have to vote for the budget, but wouldn`t overturn the government. Politics suck but it`s all mind games. either way i pray to get ride of these idiots soon enough!
    2. Zed posted on 02/21/2013 06:02 PM
      @Rudolph S Take a break from watching Jerry Springer and read a book...
  13. Eva posted on 02/21/2013 03:48 PM
    well why r ppl not surprised...u let the fox into the hen house and now most of the chickens r gone...soon u will have it that Quebec will not welcome outsiders at all...they will stop everthing at their border and if it has any English or other language on it they won't let it in...do u ppl really want to live in such a dictatorship??? this is almost as bad as Nazi Germany...don't u realize that the world could come to an end at any moment and it won't matter what language u speak all will b dead...there r too many other things that r more important in the world going on then if there is an English word instead of a French one...ppl r dying around the world, over population is killing the human race, chemicals and oil based products r killing our food supply..soon there won't b any food to complain about whether it's French or English...starving is starving...
  14. George Freeman posted on 02/21/2013 05:38 PM
    Thankfully i live in western Canada where i can speak and write in any language i so choose. Must be terrible to live in the dark ages. Do they stop u in the streets and demand your papers as well?
    1. John F. posted on 02/22/2013 10:45 AM
      @George Freeman Not yet George but.....
    2. Le Québécois posted on 02/23/2013 04:38 AM
      @George Freeman " i can speak and write in any language i so choose"

      but you will only be served in english...
  15. Paul posted on 02/21/2013 07:11 PM
    The OQLF is a racist organization started and supported by the racist PQ and Bloque parties.

    The majority of Francophone Quebecois keep voting for these racist parties so it shows what they are to us oppressed Anglophones and Allophones.

    Crap like this is why I'm leaving Quebec in a couple of years with my university degrees in Child Studies and Child Psychology. Another province will be the benefactors of my degrees, talents, work, tax dollars paid and etc and the Quebecois have nobody to blame but themselves.
    1. Jerry posted on 02/22/2013 12:20 AM
      @Paul They want us to leave their province and have more French. We the Englis speaking people (Greek, Italians,Jews..etc) have to stay and fight for our rights. You do not win a war by quitting. Wake up people and not all French speaking people are like those PQ assholes supports.
    2. Le Québécois posted on 02/23/2013 04:40 AM
      @Paul If all people do like you then we should stop funding english universities. :)
  16. mike posted on 02/21/2013 07:20 PM
    Canada will breake up unless some unforseen event happens, and then we will be left with another paranoid hostile dictatorship ready for war. Not so far fetched looking at the way things are going and the rest of the world.
  17. Monica posted on 02/21/2013 09:28 PM
    I live in Quebec but I am a Canadian. A Proud Canadian. I am extremely Proud to say that I am fully binlingual but I am embarrassed and ashamed to say that I live in a Province that has a government that insists on being Ignorant!! What saddens me even more is that ROC ( rest of Canada) more and more really wants Quebec out of their Country. What century do we live in? Why can I not go into a store and get served in the language of my preference? What kind of government would want their people to know ONLY one language and insist on it? We should be Proud to live in a province where we have an opportunity to speak and learn two languages. For all the people who live outside of Quebec, please understand that it is not ALL of us who think like this. These people are fanatics. Do not dislike all Quebecers because the ones you are hearing about are ignorant. We are proud and should b proud to live in a country called Canada!!
    1. LMAO posted on 02/22/2013 07:33 AM
      @Monica Sorry Monica but the votes don't lie, Quebec wanted this government and that is indisputable. Stupid is as stupid does.
    2. Le Québécois posted on 02/23/2013 04:42 AM
      @Monica Why can I not go into a store and get served in the language of my preference?

      Because in the ROC 90% of the time you can only be served in english.

      Québec is merely "responding" to that.
  18. marc posted on 02/21/2013 10:16 PM
    Just another day at the office for the OQLF. I want to congratulate Mr. Rosenbluth for his wonderful response to this pathetic action by the OQLF. I suspect we re going to see alot more ingenuity in dealing with these issues as they arise. We should try to get this out to worldwide media. In the interim and i know this sounds petty but we should fan out into predominantly French sectors and look for non obvious violations of the language laws. We should flood the OQLF with thousands of complaints and be as vigilant the government will quickly get the message.
  19. TS posted on 02/21/2013 10:27 PM
    Is it a coincidence that the word "stupid" is bilingual?
  20. Mo-ru posted on 02/21/2013 11:33 PM
    Totalement d'accord avec le propriétaire! It's very exaggerated sometime!

    The idea is to get a fair French representation (which I agree on). However, these "inspectors" are very much making a show of zeal.
  21. Pierre Levesque posted on 02/22/2013 06:05 AM
    Folks. This is fascism, pure and simple. PQ fascism.
    1. Le Québécois posted on 02/23/2013 04:43 AM
      @Pierre Levesque nazi reference again...
  22. Julia Germain posted on 02/22/2013 08:54 AM
    sign the petition folks
  23. P. B. Legault posted on 02/22/2013 11:07 AM
    The laws promoting the French Language and culture here in Quebec are a total farce. Laws are not needed to persuade French people to speak, read, write or post signs in French, anymore than English people or any other language group need to be forced to use their own language.
    The laws’ only purpose is to obliterate all other language groups from sight in Quebec and that is a sad fact. Acting within the cloak of secrecy like the OQLF do by promoting snitching, is the trademark of undemocratic dictatorships. Friends from other parts of the country think I am making up the stories that have become a regular part of our daily routine. They just cannot believe we have those type of laws.
    If the government would really like to promote the French language and culture they should pass laws banning the dubbing of American movies and TV shows into French to save the hoards of weekly French movie goers and daily TV viewers from being exposed to all that American (English mostly) culture. I could never understand what Mickey Mouse (even speaking French) had to do with French Culture. Maybe these people could take in a Willie Lamothe movie or engage in some other French cultural activity?
    How ironic that the government sees no need to protect French people from being exposed to all the English names and signs on the screen, but feels the urgency to harass an Italian restaurant owner for having one Italian word on his otherwise fully French only menu. Do they actually fear that this one Italian word may result in the total destruction of the French language and culture or is this just an excuse to discriminate against minority rights? You surely must know the answer.
    Considering the government passed laws making it mandatory that all movies be dubbed into French before a person of another language could view the same picture in their own language, it becomes obvious that being exposed to American (English) culture cannot be all that harmful and we can only conclude the government enjoys harassing minorities for using the same languages that the government helped guarantee that French people have a right to view on film or TV.
    Could it be that the government suspects there would be riots in the street if they tried to forbid French people the freedom to choose what they watch, and besides it is so much easier to pick on the minority community and restrict their rights, isn’t it, especially when the government appears to harbour such a deep hatred for minorities by the way they are harassed needlessly.
    Maybe not. When French peoples’ right to send their children to English school was taken away, they just rolled over like trained dogs.
    Whatever happened to government by the people for ALL the people?
    P. B. Legault
    1. Allan Lussier posted on 02/23/2013 03:37 PM
      @P. B. Legault You dolt! Government "by the people, for the people" is in the American constitution, not Quebec's. What do you expect?
  24. Eggman Robotnik posted on 02/22/2013 11:38 AM
    I agree that important information should be available in Québec's main language. Think about unilingual people. But decorations shouldn't be translated unless the proprietor really intended it. That law is not correctly applied and overly demanding.
  25. John posted on 02/22/2013 11:59 AM
    I left Montreal in 1985 and now live in Toronto. As i tell my friends here that thanks to Quebec's stupidity that ,that is why Ontario is where it's at today.
    1. K B posted on 04/09/2013 12:56 PM
      @John ABSOLUTELY!!! take a good hard look, Quebec!! see how successful you were!

      Toronto, Canada's giant economic engine, is the city that Quebec built!!

      once upon a time that was supposed to Montreal, in case you forgot.
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