Fixing OQLF could take years

Robert Vezina (archive)
Fred Bissonnette/CTV

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."

An Earthquake

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.

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
Comment Like
  • 22
  1. clint posted on 06/30/2014 03:43 PM
    IT DOESN'T WORK.....plain and simple....should NEVER have been set-up the ways it was.......time to abolish this archaic symbol from the past and move on.
  2. Juge posted on 06/30/2014 03:49 PM
    This is the most insane situation. The OQLF gets to extend their own existence by saying it will take them a few years to update their system and processes, while spending an enormous sum of taxpayer's money to employ its 240 people.
    My late mother often said, "you can make an ugly person pretty, but you can't make a stupid person smart". I suggest they close up the OQLF now, save us a ton of money, don't bother trying to make these stupid people smart. Instead, try to teach these idiots, this province (not nation) can live very happily and certainly more successfully without their meddling and stupidity. Let them open their eyes to the opportunities they are preventing this province from benefiting from, because so many companies just bypass this province due to their draconian rules.
  3. JohnH- posted on 06/30/2014 03:55 PM
    The OQLF has out lived its usefulness. If it was ever useful to start with. Shut it down and there won't be any earthquakes. At the same time cut off the funding for the SJBS.

    Oh' Happy Days, Oh' Happy Days!
  4. Dave S. posted on 06/30/2014 04:11 PM
    How do you fix a government agency that relies on Soviet style snitching by individuals reporting on 'illegal' use of English words? There are so many more important things to fix in Quebec but $25 million is spent on this. It's just ridiculous!
  5. Mike d posted on 06/30/2014 04:15 PM
    Hahahaha what a joke. Long term job the new CEO says. CEO of what? This is not a company! What a waste of money again. 240 seperatists with nice pensions and jobs. What a joke. I can't believe he is not embarrassed to stand up and say what he says. CEO hahaha!
  6. anne posted on 06/30/2014 04:29 PM
    The best fix would only take 1 minute.. a decision to abolish it. There will never be a situation where discrimination against another language will be accepted by normal people. Pastagate, any "-gate".. it's all sick.
  7. GT posted on 06/30/2014 05:44 PM
    destabillized employees???? Really!!! how about it was a wake up call for the pure hatred and discriminatory attitude of the PQ and PQ supporters?? I'm all for promoting the french language but to completely erase any and all that is not french is racism plain and simple. Bill 101 just legitimized the past 40 years of linguistic cleansing. And here is a flash bulletin to the narrow minded PQ and PQ supporters, the more we let the flood of immigrants continue, the more you will be a minority within your own province that will never be a country and ENGLISH will be back as strong as ever because it is the international language that binds the world!
  8. pat keane posted on 06/30/2014 07:21 PM
    so they continue to be paid a job they do not need to do.just close the qolf down .Get on with life in the 21st century.svp
  9. Adam posted on 06/30/2014 07:51 PM
    I have this crazy idea how to fix the OQLF, and it won't take years or millions to fix.

    Set a date, and say, "As of this date, you are CLOSED." Just to be clear closed as in forever. I doubt any Anglophone would see this as wrong.
  10. Joe posted on 06/30/2014 10:20 PM
    Best fix, shut it down and put that money into healthcare. Its cheaper to give the employees pogey than pay them their salary.
  11. First Up Jack posted on 07/01/2014 01:24 AM
    They should be closed down. No more money for these leeches. OQLF should simply put. Be disbanded to the wind like dust.
  12. joanne scullion posted on 07/01/2014 04:55 AM
    Seriously the OLF needs a Charbonneau like inquiry . In the eighties there was la Cas Curran Joanne Curran a nursing professional who was working in a French hospital , working completely in French and she lost her licence, I know because that person was me.I got 95 in the oral and 69 twice in the written, on the same test. Only when it went viral, and that was before social media did they revise the pass marks. This kind of stuff still goes on. Imagine a group of CEGEP graduates are saying yea or nay if a doctor or nurse passes.Last year the language Taliban paraded up and down Sherebrooke west harassing and threatening small buisnesses. Mario Beaulieu withhis minions manged to make almost 700 complaints,People who make complaints should have to do so publically and not by a secret complaint.How many health care professionals have we lost.
  13. More BS posted on 07/01/2014 08:20 AM
    I could fix it in no time.
  14. Rich Mertl posted on 07/01/2014 10:36 AM
    It does not need to take years to revamp the OQLF. Very simple, put all the functionnaires on QEI and close the office. The benefit to society of this bureau is nil.
    Take the money saved from closing this bureau and redirect it towards education. It is clear that the children coming out of the education system are not up to the same level as years ago. Devoting more resources towards education will make all these many bureaus of the Quebec government obsolete as the educated people will be able to make better decisions without some bureaucrat. For example, Montreal had an idea to "test" late bar openings. Some bureaucrats nixed the idea although it was proposed as a "test". Unfortunately, the bureaucrats that are employed are products of the educational system that has been failing Quebecers for years. So what can one expect, "Garbage in garbage out"
  15. Alastair posted on 07/01/2014 11:14 AM

    1 - 17K on workshops
    Poppycock. That is a meeting held by the management to try and figure out how to undo the crap they started. The grunt workers were stil going around harassing businesses. During that meeting they were eating lobster.

    2 - For the price we pay what is the reward? Someone please show me a concrete benefit.
    We hire police we get security
    We hire judges we get justice
    We hire construction workers we get infrastructure
    We hire OQLF we get headaches, Pastagate, bad PR

    I've yet, since the start of the OQLF, to hear of 1 good thing or benefit from them.

    3- there is no 3. Just fire the lot of them.
  16. Kari posted on 07/01/2014 11:03 PM
    The " fix " for the OQLF is to get rid of it.
    By the way Mr. Vezina, its MY TEAM AND I not me and my team.
    Might as well use proper English.
  17. Pat posted on 07/02/2014 12:04 AM
    It's like the garbage the Oil companies want us to believe . Gas can jump 10cents over night but it will take months, for the price to go down.

    The OLF is full of unimportant people throwing their weight around
  18. Kat posted on 07/02/2014 11:00 AM
    "The language question stirs up such emotion." That's because the OQLF and bill 101 are unconstitutional. If you changed language to race or religion Canada would be thrown out of the UN.
  19. jonico posted on 07/02/2014 12:39 PM
    Complete waste of money for taxpayers. They only have themselves to blame - Pastagate opened many people's eyes as to how ridiculous this department really is - cut budget & staff in half & spend budget on more important departments.
    1. Jenny Z posted on 07/02/2014 06:57 PM
      @jonico Like good doctors, nurses and educators.... HEALTH and EDUCATION... No, not the AGENCE (health) and school boards... The ACTUAL worker not the bureaucrats... And I repeat the people that deserve it, the DOCTORS, NURSRS and TEACHERS!! But sadly none of the politicians have the guts to pull it through... Thank you
  20. stm posted on 07/02/2014 05:05 PM
    Bizarre concept altogether. Fix it? Simple. Do it like anywhere else in the modern, open minded,enlightened world. Then, take the entire budget and improve essentials like healthcare so that there are no waiting lists for life saving procedures for ordinary Quebecers who do not have private insurance and access to the upper tier of our two tier system..
  21. dustee posted on 07/03/2014 12:06 AM
    Where else does a government spend so much money on enforcing self admitted cultural supremacy restrictions on the public use of minority languages? I can't think of one shining example? Fixing it is a perverse concept. It's about time this embarrassment was discarded. Laurin was wrong and Levesque was right. It has done nothing but damage Quebec; hopefully not irreparably.
showing all comments

Share this article: