Friday, October 2, 2009

French vs. English Volume 4

Traffic Tickets
A letter writer named Pierre from Notre-Dame-de-l'ile-Perrot wrote a piece on, an article entitled "Complaint against the City of Montreal "Plainte contre la Ville de Montréal" where he fulminates against bilingual traffic tickets.
"Here ladies and gentlemen of the OQLF is a complaint against the city of Montreal and the Government of Québec. The document annexed speaks for itself. It is written in English. Oh yes, there's also a French version." But my complaint is that there is an English version at all.
He goes on to rant that by offering English versions of documents, the government encourages immigrants to function without having to learn French. Hmmmm....

4,000 kilometers away in Alberta another issue concerning a traffic ticket has been raised. It seems that an Alberta judge has ruled that a ticket issued to one Gilles Caron, a francophone trucker, wasn't valid because it wasn't printed in French as well as in English. That case is headed to the Supreme Court.

Twenty years ago Manitoba was forced to translate everything into French and operate bilingually. It remains to be seen what happens in Alberta.

While a bilingual ticket makes an Alberta francophone happy, a bilingual ticket makes a Quebec francophone very unhappy! I guess it's just a matter of perspective!.....

OQLF Inspector given a rough ride
It's only surprising that it took so long to happen.
An inspector from the Office québécois de la langue française (the government agency that enforces Quebec's language laws) has had a charge laid against a Gatineau businessman for assault. Michel Bond is accused of physically removing the inspector from his place of business and then slamming a car door on the unfortunate doofus.

Not to worry, these inspectors are tough SOBs and they're used to taking abuse. Everywhere they go, they're greeted with various degrees of disdain which range from mild annoyance to overt hostility. Anyone who stays in the job has a thick skin.
A decade ago the predominantly English town of Shawville got a posse together and literally ran an inspector right out of town!

Magog supermarket commits a High Crime and Misdamenour
A Loblaws supermarket in the Eastern Townships was attacked for having the audacity to play bilingual announcements over it's public address system.
The ever vigilant organization, the Mouvement estrien pour le français, defender of the French language in the Townships region, complained to the government watchdog department, the l'Office québécois de la langue française over the bilingual ads.
Their demand is based on the language law requirement that French be 'predominant' in public advertising.
The watchdog group suggested that the store play twice as many French ads as English ones to satisfy the requirements of the law.

Store management is mulling over their options, but there seems to be no truth to the rumor that in order to conform to the law, the store is considering playing the French ads twice as loud as the English ones....

Nationalists want new street name
Nationalists have been making a big stink lately about the street named after Jeffrey AMHERST demanding that the name be changed because he was a racist, who condoned exterminating the local Indians.
This week the suggestion has been made that the street be re-baptized to honour another racist, but this one a francophone, Pierre Falardeau who died last week. He was without a doubt the most vocal Anglo hater in Quebec, an overt racist who invited Anglos to move out of Quebec.

Montreal has always recognized important personalities on both sides of the language issue, the best example being the back to back streets named after the opposing commanders in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, Wolfe and Montcalm (which ironically are streets adjacent to Amherst). In that spirit of openness, I propose that Robin street be re-baptized to honour of one of Quebec's greatest writers, the controversial Mordecai Richler, whose notoriety shouldn't be given any more weight then that attached to Falardeau!-

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