Merchant resists OQLF inspector: Strudelgate?
The Pointe Claire merchant who famously started selling "Pasta Salad Marois" in the days following "Pastagate" is again rebelling.
An OQLF inspector visited Swiss Vienna Pastry and Delicatessen and owner Harry Schick asked the man to leave.
The inspector pointed to several violations to Quebec's language law, Bill 101, and asked to take pictures. Schick refused. The inspector left and, according to Schick, said that he will be back.
"French and English are the same size," on signs in his store, a defiant Schick told CJAD 800's Rick Moffat. "To me, Anglophones and Francophones have equal rights in my store.
"Pasta Marois" has become one of the shop's top sellers, "and we've just added this week 'le Mac and Cheese!'"
Schick seems to be daring the government to take extreme action.
"I will not pay the fine. What will they do? Put me in jail? Put 35 employees out of business by closing me down? I doubt it. Somebody is going to have to stop them."
Several merchants in the same mall on St. Jean blvd. tell CJAD 800 that they have been visited by the OQLF in recent days.
Schick is positioning himself as an Anglo martyr.
"[The government] is slowly but surely driving out Anglos. My daughter has already left. She will never come back to this province."
Should other Anglo business-owners follow Schick's lead? It depends, says lawyer and former Alliance Quebec president Brent Tyler, who is currently fighting dozens of cases against the OQLF.
"If they want to minimize the cost and it doesn't have anything to do with the principle of the matter, then by all means just pay the fine, correct the problem and move on," Tyler told CJAD 800. "If you want to make a point of it, then by forcing the government to go far, you may draw attention to what you're doing."
Tyler said one likely outcome from not paying OQLF fines is for the government to seize bank accounts or other assets to recover the outstanding amount. They can also sell property at auction if necessary; "there are a number of recourses available."