Quebeckers are massing to make an assault against a business for having the audacity to retain it's English corporate name in a Quebec location.
Jean-Paul Perreault, of Impératif français is organizing a coalition of French language militant groups to demonstrate their displeasure on February 27, in front of a location of a "SLEEP COUNTRY CANADA," a mattress store in Gatineau Quebec, in protest of it's Anglophone name. They are even organizing a bus from Montreal to bring in protesters.
If there's anything to rile this mob, it's the inclusion of the word 'Canada' in the moniker.
First a little background.
Further expansion in Quebec by the company used the "Dormez-Vous?' banner, but when the they opened a store store in Gatineau, right across the river from Ottawa, they chose to use the older 'Sleep Country Canada' name.
In an email sent to the militants a spokesman for Sleep Country, Penny Jerkovic explained the reasons for the company's decision.
She told them that Sleep Country Canada had been operating in the Ottawa area for many years and had cultivated a large clientèle on the Quebec side of the border, only a short drive away. The company had invested a lot of money in French language advertising, promoting the name 'Sleep Country Canada' in the Gatineau/Hull region and in order to maintain continuity and build on this legacy, they decided to retain the name in this region only. She underlined that the Hull and Gatineau stores were in compliance with the law and served customers in French.
She may as well have beaten her head against the wall. As you can imagine, the explanation fell on deaf ears.
There's no reasoning with this cabal of language militants. The fact that the company is well within it's rights to use the name, makes little difference to those who wish to drive any vestige of English out of the public eye.
And so, a rainbow coalition of Anglo haters, calling themselves the Coalition Québec français is planning to show it's displeasure in a demonstration later this month. This group includes unions (FTQ, the CSN,) as well as the regular cast of militant characters, the Impératif français, the SNQ, SSJB de Montréal, le Mouvement Montréal Français and the always threatening RRQ.
For Sleep Country there is no way to win.
I suggest they modify the name so as to read SLEEP COUNTRY CANADA/ DORMEZ-VOUS?
It sucks, but that's the price of doing business in Quebec, the radicals always win because people are too lazy too resist and businesses would always rather switch than fight.
That is also why so many companies just don't bother coming to Quebec.
I once had a conversation with a language inspector from the OQLF who was going through our office software to determine if we had French versions, I asked him why instead of hassling small fry for language infractions, they don't force big auto companies to add French to their car's dashboards.
While most of the warning lights and instructions on cars are pictograms, there remains a lot of purely English words on every dashboard.
He told me frankly that the car companies told the government that they would comply if ordered to, but it was quite a complicated affair and they would have to add several hundred dollars to the cost of each car sold in Quebec. Ouch!
Hmmmm.....I guess that the government felt that if Quebeckers had to pay more for a car than Ontarians, it wouldn't look so good and so they gave themselves their very own 'reasonable accommodation' and let the issue pass!