CJAD's Dan Delmar gets a letter from the OQLF

Dan Delmar (left) and partner Jared Shapransky.
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Provocateur Communications, the media company founded by CJAD host Dan Delmar and his partner Jared Shapransky, is now in the crosshairs of Quebec's language authorities.

The Office québécois de la langue française sent the company a letter dated Jan. 20, informing it that it must translate its web site into French, and that it must respond to the letter within the month.

Since then, there have been two exchanges with the woman who signed the letter, Vanessa Rozié, whose official title at the OQLF is "complaint specialist". Provocateur informed her a French translation of the web site was underway, and that it would be complete within six months.

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The letter took Delmar aback, in part because in the wake of the Pastagate affair last year, the OQLF put in place a "triage" system where complaints to the agency would be prioritized. He says Provocateur should be considered a low-priority violator because it's a small business whose area of expertise is communications services for anglophones, and that promoting themselves in French before it took on a full-time francophone contributor would be a misrepresentation of what it does.

"Our intention was always to have a French web site, and we're in the process of doing it," Delmar says. "So we're not doing it for the OQLF, we're doing it because we believe in multilingualism."

He suggests the OQLF would be better off lending support for small businesses like his, rather than threats.

"You would think someone like me with 1.5 employees would be the first in line to get help from the government to translate our web site to have resources to help us to do that. There's nothing available whatsoever except for repression and threats of lawsuits.

"There's nothing wrong with protecting the French language, but it has to be done through education and persuasion. These types of measures — threatening lawsuits in a first-contact letter — have a dissuasive effect on business."

In February 2013, a blog post by Delmar on CJAD's web site gave birth to the Pastagate phenomenon, which drew worldwide — and for language hawks, unwelcome — attention to Quebec's language laws and the complex ways in which they're enforced. In the weeks that followed, the OQLF's president resigned, and it moved to implement its "triage" system for complaints.

Also within the month, Provocateur launched the "Ici, on commerce avec amour" campaign — which essentially promoted the idea that francophones and anglophones can and should do business with one another without political interference.

• Dan Delmar is the host of CJAD's The Exchange on Monday and Wednesday nights at 8 p.m.

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  • 31
  1. TerryP posted on 02/05/2014 06:49 AM
    Now they want to control the internet too?? WTF
  2. maria posted on 02/05/2014 06:54 AM
    Danny boy - Haven't you learnt till now that the PQ Gouv. is very very vindictive- In fact
    most Gouv. are vindictive. When dealing with this Gouv. you have to be very very careful, you basicly should have a lawyer with you . There is no such thing as a free society, I am
    54 years old and have seen this many many times. You are smart and you know what you are saying but in this province it means nothing.
  3. derrick posted on 02/05/2014 07:33 AM
    Appears like the OLF has an official short list...
    1. Ringo Star posted on 02/05/2014 12:35 PM
      @derrick Ask them to send you the letter in English?
  4. steve posted on 02/05/2014 08:58 AM
    Actually they do have a triage: Go after the small business that can't afford to fight them.
  5. Cyberdude posted on 02/05/2014 09:11 AM
    I understand that the 93 year old Granny who was laid out on a gurney in a hospital hallway was glad to relinquish her room so that the money saved could go towards Dan's persecution.

    Well done OQLF.
    1. mike posted on 02/06/2014 01:16 PM
      @Cyberdude please explain
  6. al posted on 02/05/2014 09:11 AM
    This is a good time to get creative...Bad publicity is good publicity for CJAD... How about a T-Shirt saying I love and listen to CJAD. Make it big enough so we can wear it over our winter coats... Give the funds to the elderly people for senior care, Since this province doesn't care for the elderly.... This should work, Front I Love and listen to CJAD and in the back french and english we care for the elderly.Everyone is in because we have grandparent, and we will soon be old one day.
    Good luck thanks for everything you do for our community.. Keep up the good work..
  7. James posted on 02/05/2014 09:27 AM
    Im getting so fed up of the stupid language police.... ive been a Montrealer my whole life and this stuff is getting out of hand. Its making me want to move away from all this crap.
    1. Melissa posted on 02/05/2014 04:02 PM
      @James I've lived in Montreal for 21 years born and raised there. I am now 23 turning 24 in March and living in Ontario. Best decision of my life!
    2. Matthew posted on 02/07/2014 09:03 PM
      @James So James pack up then ... what are you waiting for ? After all you are not being forced to stay ...
  8. Jean posted on 02/05/2014 09:39 AM
    Can we spell revenge? Happy anniversary Pastagate. Je me Souviens the Noodle. It is essential that everyone tweets/facebook post whats going on with the language cops. The world is watching as they laugh. It is the only way the people of Quebec will wake up and demand a smarter approach. The $25,000,000.00 (25 million dollar) budget for the Pasta cops needs to go to the hospitals so we can hire apx 250 more nurses, or for bursaries for students where we can help 10,000 students a year, or to the hungry so we can buy 10 million litres of Milk of the kids of Quebec. Now, we need to give it to a bunch of bureaucrats as somehow they are more important then the sick and hungry.
  9. Simon Templar posted on 02/05/2014 10:00 AM
    Should send a letter back saying he doesn't speak french, could he possibly get a copy of that in english?
  10. Colin posted on 02/05/2014 10:14 AM
    I am surprised they are now only coming after you. Well, i guess this means your comments towards the P.Q and their policies can now be seen as effective.


    Congratulations
  11. Geoff posted on 02/05/2014 10:27 AM
    This is maddening. How are anonymous petty complaints allowed in our society, this is so open to abuse it is insane. Oh I don't like this guy a single well placed call and boom the OLF is on their butt. I am not kidding we need to stop this garbage, we have accepted too much already, we need to end this appeasement. We gave our inch they are literally trying to take not just the mile but hundreds of miles. Is there no way to start something that will allow all companies with these garbage complaints to just ignore it and we all stand together. If everyone ignores these clowns there is nothing they can do. Oh yea and hey Ottawa thanks for the support, get a backbone.
  12. joeN posted on 02/05/2014 11:48 AM
    More dirty politics from the PQ, SSJB, and their rag tag team of supporters. Harrass, intimidate, and legislate whatever does not suit them. Beaulieu from SSJB wooped you in that weak debate you had with him last year.
  13. Gail posted on 02/05/2014 11:53 AM
    I cannot believe this crap. What is the OLF up to now. Leave the damn Internet alone for heaven sake. Enough is enough. This is one place where the gouvernment could cut costs. Just eliminate the whole OLF!
  14. mp posted on 02/05/2014 01:42 PM
    How come they didn't send you a copy in english ?
  15. Theo posted on 02/05/2014 03:10 PM
    Just add a link to Google Translate to get a French version of the web page.
  16. Jonnyboy123 posted on 02/05/2014 03:16 PM
    si les gens sont asser intelligent, ils peuvent avoir google chrome a traduire le site en francais... bande de caves...
  17. first up jack posted on 02/05/2014 04:06 PM
    Rewrite the letter in English. Send it back. Tell them no charge. Declare site as a country. Tell them piss off. You do not want any.
  18. Leo posted on 02/05/2014 08:41 PM
    Well let's see now....
    We could do something about the rampant corruption in civil servants or....
    we can do something about the overcrowded emergency rooms or... we could look into why the infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes (and on our heads), or... do something about the over 10% unemployed and welfare cases that refuse to work and leach off hard works who are heavily taxed!!! NO...... we must chase visible minorities out of the province and fine hard working english people with tax payers money so that they get fed up and finally leave the province WITH THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY and no longer contribute to the Quebec tax money pit. Hey thanks you xenophobic extremists, you're just digging your own graves.
  19. Dani posted on 02/06/2014 12:27 PM
    This is a perfect example of the double standard that exists in Montreal right now. How come the French can have French-only website, while the English or ANY other language has to translate to french (even though English is the official CANADIAN language, and we are in Canada). What if someone wants to pander to their religious or raced community? Then again, Pauline wants to pass a charter to ban religious symbols.

    The money spent on the Language Police should go to more important issues, like hospitals that are understaffed or underfunded, a competent education system, the potholes in our roads, and the shelters that feed the homeless, help the sick, take care of the abused, etc etc. What a waste...
    1. Matthew posted on 02/07/2014 09:06 PM
      @Dani (even though English is the official CANADIAN language, and we are in Canada)

      In what law is that established Dani ??
  20. mike posted on 02/06/2014 01:12 PM
    I live in Montreal for only the past 6.5 years, 1 think I have to say this place is very nice and SOME nice people ,(like the people at CJAD), other than that the PQ gov. is Terrible only creating problems all the time, and creating hate between Montrealers ,

    I lived in n.y. for 20 years and never had to deal with such nonsense nor even close to it, it’s about time to move and from the QC province, what do we have here beside hate and stupid PQ goverment

    what do they want form our nice sweet Dan???????

    Dan i really like you hear you on CJAD keep up with your good work! and hope this stupid people will get off your back very soon!
  21. Rob posted on 02/07/2014 12:18 PM
    Step1: Ask the OLF to send you an English copy of the letter.
    Step 2: Ask the OLF to identify the weasel that made the complaint. If the answer is "no", the story ends there.

    Stop the Orwellian behaviour of our provincial government NOW.

    Are there any business websites in Quebec that are unilingual French? Are citizens equal?


    Giive no quarter.
  22. Jean Laurry posted on 02/10/2014 09:13 AM
    This is getting frustrating.
    People might noy have heard but YKK Canada with its headquarters in Montreal since 1968, a perfect bilingual company with bilingual signs and bilingual workers is now getting targeted by the OQLF because someone made a complaint that the Canadian flag is on display and because English is spoken here as well as French.
    A company that has been paying taxes to the Qc government for decades, creating jobs for local people is now getting harassed because the OQLF has nothing better to do than harass businesses that generate revenue for the government.
    Meanwhile we are scared driving under the overpasses trying to figure out if we will make it alive or not through our daily commute.
    What kind of backward society do we live in? Are people that ignorant to realize this is 2014 and we live in a globalized world where speaking 3-4-5 languages is a blessing not a curse??
  23. C D Nolan posted on 02/10/2014 05:35 PM
    I think what you need to focus on is the law. In accordance Federal Law Communications, falls under Federal jurisdiction therefore any communication done on the internet is not governed by province but by Canada. You know that country that supplies Quebec with their money, pensions, army, saftely, Federal jobs (need I go on) ...... While the present Quebec government perceives themselves as this century's version of Hitler and his band of complete idiots, they need to face reality. Quebec is one province in a country that is governed by democratic rights - do your homework on communications law. Also you could even give them greater frustration by creating a dot com web page and placing your blog under that site in which case it would fall under USA law and we all know that English is the key language in that country so good luck!!!

    If Quebec took all the wasted money they spent on language police, and the what 2-3 million they gave Marois for the property she built her house on....and took that money and actually helped the poorer French families in communities they claim to love so much I am sure there would be greater peace in that province .

    Laugh at this bit of stupidity and realize that the only way they can win is if you let them ...... so don't......... the law is on your side ...enjoy it!
  24. Dom posted on 02/11/2014 04:37 PM
    Why do people who have moved away, think that's the answer. Don't get me wrong, I can't stand what's going on here in Quebec, but moving is just playing into their hands.
  25. Art Horovitch posted on 02/11/2014 05:20 PM
    I don't see any French on the CJAD website. Is the OQLF afraid to take on Tommy and his gang of four? The OQLF is the height of hypocrisy. Eaton's, Ogilvy's, Simpson's, Ben's all had to remove the apostrophe. But MacDonald's? No, no... That's a trade name. Don't touch that one... too many Quebecers would lose their jobs if MacDonald's pulled out of QC
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