Language police target hospital workers who speak to each other in Creole

Administrators at the Hôpital Rivière-Des-Prairies were forced to call staff meetings this month to explain language law restrictions after a hospital employee complained about two co-workers who would converse in Creole during private conversations from time to time.

The Office Québécois de la Langue Française told hospital officials about the complaint earlier this month, giving them until December 20th to respond and take corrective action.

Hospital officials say the office did not give any details of the complaint, have no context for it and can only speculate that the two workers were overheard by a colleague who could not understand what they were saying.

Hospital officials say the language of work at the psychiatric facility is French and  the complaint put them in a difficult position because failing to act could result in a fine of up to $20,000.

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