Pastagate restaurant skeptical of OQLF's triage system
The owner of the upscale Italian restaurant at the epicenter of what became known as 'Pastagate' is greeting news of the OQLF's new 'triage' system for assessing complaints about language with skepticism.
This morning, language minister Diane de Courcy announced that complaints will now be investigated on the basis of whether they affect an individual or are of concern to the general public.
Individuals complaining about being refused service in French would fall under one category; those who complain about the language of signs would fall into another.
The vast majority of complaints — 95 per cent of the 4,000 complains the OQLF receives ever year — fall into the latter category.
Buonanotte owner Massimo Lecas says he doesn't think anything will change with the OQLF — and adds the word 'triage' reminds him of the triage system in hospital emergency rooms.
"It gives me concerns about the whole system," Lecas says. "When they say level of importance based on volume...my main concern is the cafe's with two f's, or the pasta, or the on and off switches on the blenders. Are they still being treated, or are we saying 'listen, we're going to use our good judgement'? [De Courcy] didn't necessarily say that."
Last February, news broke that Lecas' restaurant was visited by an OQLF agent acting on a complaint about some of the words on his menus — among them, the word "pasta". The incident, which thereafter became known as "Pastagate", became an international embarrassment for the language body. Its head, Louise Marchand, resigned her post in March, as multiple reports about the OQLF's supposed overzealousness continued to come to the fore.
Photo: Richard Deschamps