UPDATED: OQLF targets Westmount salad shop because of vintage signs

A small Westmount salad shop is the latest to be hit by the language police, for vintage decorations in their shop that have a few English only words.

Mandy's Salad Bar on Sherbrooke West is owned by two sisters, Mandy and Rebecca Wolfe, they have small vintage signs in their shop with the words "Sweet Sisters Strawberry Jam" and "Ice Cold Soda".

The OQLF visited their location last week and said they would be receiving a letter because signs like this are not permitted.

“We employ close to 20 people, and we have dozen of suppliers here, we believe that we’re really ingrained in Montreal’s economy but it’s situations like this that make me feel like I’m fighting to stay here,” Mandy Wolfe told CJAD.

Wolfe says the visits from the OQLF started last year and she has received two letters regarding the vintage signs and her bilingual menus not being good enough.

She says she’s made some changes in the last year but she will not get rid of her decorations.

The sisters also have a second location on Laurier Avenue.

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  • 36
  1. TIM posted on 03/11/2014 12:25 PM
    The OLF has tried this exact thing before and backed away. I thought anything considered art/decoration doesn't apply under Bill 101 no matter if it has words or not.
    1. Eddie Diener posted on 03/12/2014 05:46 AM
      @TIM I grew up in Montreal. I can't see why Pauline Marois just can't go down to this Soup & Salad Shop and "Lunchez". Causing strife for people is detremental to their health and will shorten one's life span as a result. What could possibly have happened in Pauline Marois's childhood to have made her this bitter? Perhaps she would like to bring her subjects to a plateau where she can eventually "Let them eat cake"
  2. I Speak EF posted on 03/11/2014 12:30 PM
    The OQLF, who is indirectly trying to close businesses, should be directly put out of business themselves. When will any politicians have the guts to a least suggest this and save the tax payer and business owners lots of money and lots of aggravation.
  3. Rick B posted on 03/11/2014 12:48 PM
    For Chrissakes, when will this stop? If these people are so feeble minded and insecure that the sight of an English word gets their panties in a knot, they should eat at Lafleur's or Valentine (or is that too English sounding?)
  4. sam posted on 03/11/2014 12:53 PM
    If the cross is considered a symbol of Quebec's heritage rather than a religious symbol under the proposed charter of majority values, couldn't signs with English on them be considered to be symbols of Montreal's heritage as a less closed less supremacist , cosmopolitan society? Failing that approach, if one places a small notice underneath the offending public display of a minority language , stating that the minority language display is a political statement about the language restrictions. Are political statements not protected by freedom of speech clauses in the Quebec charter of Rights and Freedoms?
  5. Jf Joubert posted on 03/11/2014 01:17 PM
    I'm in favor of bill 101. This story seems like a bit of a big fuss over nothing.
    Why can't be French used to promote things in Montreal thus making it different from Toronto?
    1. Trilingual posted on 03/11/2014 09:35 PM
      @Jf Joubert If the Swiss can live with many languages and are still able to conduct business in the language of "customer service", why can't our beautiful and abundant province just let us enjoy our cultures WITHOUT the animosity. Why do we need the OQLF to police our different business flavors? That's what make Montreal different.
    2. Leopard Latte posted on 03/11/2014 09:53 PM
      @Jf Joubert Why can't you just live and let live? Why are you so insecure about a few English words? Why don't you focus your attention on something meaningful like the lousy healthcare system in this province?
  6. Monica posted on 03/11/2014 01:26 PM
    I agree with I Speak EF; the OQLF should be banished, once and for all.
  7. Rooster posted on 03/11/2014 02:04 PM
    I get a kick out of people being outraged by this. Pointing out how these attacks hurt business. What they do (OQLF) is the expected.
    Most if not all of these inspectors and indeed the entire Quebec government could not run a successful lemonade stand. They despise anything English and most do not even speak French properly. They live in a parallel universe where what they do is justified and necessary.
    Their religion is French language their goal is to save the "world." Their method? Blow it up.
    Where are Marie Joly and Denis Coderre etc?
    The so called "federalist" politicians and defenders of Montreal are like the person in the middle of a bed with one person on each side of them. As the hardened separatists pull the covers to their side the Anglos and Allophones lose the blanket. If the other side pulls back; the separatists lose their covers. The francophone in the middle(read career politicians etc). that make their money as defenders of Montreal are well covered. Separatist if it suits the prevailing winds and federalist when their careers need it.
  8. Diane Denis posted on 03/11/2014 03:21 PM
    I can't believe this is happening again. Why don't they take our tax dollars and put them where they will be of use, like education and health care instead of this crazy bullying. Are they so insecure of their heritage that they can't coexist with something different?
  9. brian posted on 03/11/2014 03:51 PM
    The ALOOF , oops I mean the OQLF tried this with McGibbins on Cressent and they backed off after a huge public outcry . These signs are part of the decor - for Pete's sake "laissez la" . The situation is not getting rediculous- it is rediculous.
    When was the last time one of these OLQF employees worked in a restaurant at minimum wage or as an owner working 12 -16 hours a day with all the worries of managing a bussiness
    If this English bashing continues don't be too surprised if many restaurants and businesses lay-off employees , close and go elsewhere outside Quebec to start a new business
    1. George73 posted on 03/11/2014 05:08 PM
      @brian OQLF employees are pariahs. Nice salaries. Tax payer funded pensions. And no contribution to society. Fire them all. Lets see Marois brush that off like she did the 20000 jobs lost last quarter.
  10. Kari posted on 03/11/2014 04:09 PM
    Here we go again...................
    I always thought according to the rest of the world that English was the universal language.
    I guess in Marois' universe ( where ever that may be ) this is not the case.
    Remember those 715 new planets that were discovered and four of them seemed to be inhabitable? Why not send her and all her followers there so they can do whatever they like and actually HAVE their own universe.
    One way trip...........................
  11. Chris posted on 03/11/2014 04:48 PM
    So let me get this straight … Our province is in the toilet right now and this useless government makes a few English words a priority … Nevermind the fact that we are losing people to other provinces at an alarming rate and the fact that Quebec is losing thousands of jobs per month … What about our roads, bridges, etc … I think everyone could agree that there are more important matters than language … The PQ has to go … Marois has done so much damage to our province in the time she has been in power, this has to stop … We have a chance on April 7th to get her out of power so let's get out to the poles and vote!!!!
  12. George73 posted on 03/11/2014 05:05 PM
    Hmmm.

    I have an English-only tattoo. Just waiting for the OQLF to fine me for not having it in French.

    Guess what it says?
    1. Antonio posted on 03/14/2014 07:42 AM
      @George73 no it is not coming , it is there if PQ gets in , the little known and discussed provision in charter that indicates all measures are to be taken to promote the French language. And knowing the talent of OQLF of stretching any legislation to their cause, they will surely act if a complain comes up.
  13. Ron posted on 03/11/2014 05:15 PM
    Want effective results? Let's start taking stories like this to an international level. CNN, BBC, and all the major American broadcasting companies seem like a good place to start. From there, the UN could be a next step.

    By the way, so much for the "triage" promised by De Courcy. So much for the "respect for anglos" touted by Marois.

    Here's an idea: anytime the OQLF is acting on a "complaint", make the plaintiff's name public.
    1. Dorothy posted on 03/11/2014 06:48 PM
      @Ron The only way to get this information past Peladeau's publications is to make it viral. The most recent victim, Delilah's got some great press in the end, and, contrary to PQ desires, I hope, increase sales. SMALL BUSINESS RULES!
  14. Chris posted on 03/11/2014 07:56 PM
    A culture survives and prospers through its own greatness, not through the minimising of other cultures. Rather than promoting the Quebec culture through its merits, the OQLF is tarnishing French Quebec's image by making it look petty and intolerant. Shame on them for degrading very culture they purport to protect.
  15. CN posted on 03/11/2014 09:51 PM
    Vintage signs are decorations and do not fall under the stupid bill 101. Tell them to shove it. This is classic bullying.
  16. Patricia posted on 03/11/2014 11:05 PM
    Who to hell do they think they are. We are a free country & have the right & I mean every right to put up English signs especially if our business is English. Second thought even if we R french I would put the signs in my mother tongue. To hell with them
  17. Grace posted on 03/12/2014 02:14 AM
    I believe if you're paying for something then you should be served in your language of choice. So, since we all pay taxes we should have the choice.
    As a business owner it makes sense to serve in both languages.
    1. Louise posted on 03/12/2014 03:57 PM
      @Grace Get over yourself and get a life
      This was a decorative sign.
      Nowhere does it say you could not be served in French
      It is your choice to walk out if you feel you are not being properly servced
      I am fluently bilingual and I have walked out of many stores when I asked to be served in English and the salesperson was unable to communicate in my language of choice
      Jobs and a mushrooming debt should be your focus of attention.
      Due to the OQLF you will very soon get to pay more taxes as more and more intelligent taxpayers decide to leave you with the burgeoning debt burden.
  18. Kari posted on 03/12/2014 05:00 PM
    I just have to laugh.
    I noticed that the OQLF did not mention the word " lunch ".
    Maybe thats because many times I have heard french speaking people say " bon lunch ". I guess its also a french word. LOL
  19. marg posted on 03/12/2014 08:53 PM
    When I first heard of this story I was miffed that the shopkeeper was getting harrassed.
    Now that I see the picture above with those English signs I see it another way. Those English signs stand out big time and I don't see any French signs that stand out. I know people hate that they have to put the English signs smaller than French but I can certainly see that shop seems to be making a very English statement. Goes to show that there are always two sides to every story.
  20. Dave posted on 03/12/2014 11:59 PM
    What is wrong with all the anglos who never saw this coming 40 years ago -- and for each of those 40 years ever since -- and who continued to do nothing at the ballot box except vote Liberal?!?
    A lot of good that do-nothing mentality did you all, huh?!? Happy now?!
    1. Kelly posted on 03/13/2014 03:50 PM
      @Dave Well, what do YOU suggest, Dave? Sounds like (you think) you have all the answers. Enlighten us, please.
  21. Iknoweh posted on 03/13/2014 01:58 PM
    I love Montreal. The cost of living, public resources, it's a great place to live. But the reality is French is the Official language (not the only language) of Quebec, and has been for 38 years since Bill 22 - The Official Language act of 1977. All government and public services are offered in both languages.

    I speak and write both, but English is my mother tongue. That said, I think the OFLQ are nit picking, I think this is way out of their lawful bounds. I also think that it is harming the cultural diversity of Montreal. It's not helping to promote investments from outside the province or country. But Quebec's financial growth is still ok.

    Do I want my court proceedings in English? Yes!
    Do I want the CLSC doctor to give me instructions in English? Yes!
    Do I want to buy a donut in English? Well, I can point and read the cash register.

    In the end, one can't get rid of the other, because then it's not Montreal anymore.
  22. Marc posted on 03/13/2014 02:41 PM
    I encourage people to take a walk on Mount Royal East and in particular visit a store called FARFELU. There you will find novelty items , games, and products in ENGLISH only. No stickers to translate to french all in ENGLISH in the middle of the Plateau. They are breaking the law in every way possible cannot figure out how they are doing it. Better go buy up everything before it disappears.
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