The head of the Office Quebecois de la Langue Française (OQLF) says reworking the organization after Pastagate could take years, and that the new triage system for complaints is still in the process of being implemented, despite having been announced more than a year ago.
"Me and my team will be working on it over the course of the next years, it's a long term job," says Robert Vezina, who became the CEO of the OQLF four months ago.
He says the form letters sent out to both companies and complainants are years old and all need to be rewritten. The OQLF's computer systems need to be updated to provide better service, and, he says, the new triage system "will be implimented over the course of the year."
Vezina told a National Assembly committee today that the OQLF would never be safe from another media crisis like Pastagate, because the language question stirs up such emotion.
But, he says there is a genuine will within the Office to prevent another one. "It was an earthquake in the organization. That really unleashed a very committed desire to modernize," said the OQLF head, who took questions along with the language minister during a routine hearing that takes place after every budget.
Vezina says the Office's new ombudsman has been taking complaints on a regular basis since starting the job last September, and that the OQLF is also working this feedback into its revision process.
$17k on workshops
After Pastagate made the international media circuit, the OQLF spent $17,786 on workshops where its 240 staff members could "express and share in a neutral environment."
While the CAQ's Claire Samson scoffed at this as "group therapy," Vezina said the expense was important considering how much the media frenzy had destabilized employees.
The workshops helped retain staff, improve the climate of the workplace, and allowed workers to express how they thought the organization had gotten to that point, Vezina said.