AngryFrenchGuy

Archive for the ‘What Canadians don’t know about Canada’ Category

Quebec’s Bizarre Segregated School System

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Montreal English Schools

In 1969, just a couple of years after the United States government had to send in the army to protect black students being integrated into Little Rock, Arkansas schools in spite of the violent opposition of a certain segment of the white population, the municipality of Saint-Léonard on the Montreal island went through it’s own episodes of violent riots over the integration of minorities.

The only difference is that in the case of Saint-Léonard, the white, French-speaking, majority was rioting against segregation, not in support of it.

Québec’s segregated school system is as old as Canada. It was a compromise of sorts between the Protestant industrialists of Montreal and the all powerful Catholic clergy who agreed that the province would have two completely separate and independently run school systems : one Protestant, one Catholic, which with time morphed into French and English-language systems. The dual school systems were constitutionalised in 1867 and, to this day, Québec is the only Canadian province constitutionally obligated to maintain « separate but equal » schools.

The Parti Québécois did it’s best in 1977 to create modern integrated system for all children, regardless of their origin, religion or home language.  Bill 101 established that all of Québec’s children would from now on study  and receive their education in French, the majority’s language.

Except for Québec’s English-speaking minority, of course, who’s right to it’s own parallel school system was protected.  To this day, anyone who has studied at least one year in an English school somewhere in Canada is allowed to opt out of the majority’s school system.

This, of course, is rationalised on the principal of some supposed right of children to receive education in their language.

That’s interesting because, at least in Montreal, the majority of English-speaking youth are not studying in English at all!

According to the English Montreal School Board as many as three out of four primary school students spend most of their schoolday in classes taught in French.  The so-called “core” program where the majority of classes are taught in English is the least popular of all the school board’s options and is being abandoned by parents who demand immersion and billitteracy curriculum for their children.

Even Québec’s stuffy English Private Schools that only a generation ago prepared kids in penny loafers to rule the world in English are now falling over themselves to provide rich people with the French the publicly-funded system can’t afford.  The students of Westmount’s Selwyn Housenow spend between 50% and 80% of their class time studying in French and have even added a French verse to their school hymn! (Which, I belive, was the number 3 demand in the FLQ manifesto.)

Outside Montreal the situation is even stranger with many English schools having a majority of French students and very few actual Anglos exercising their right to receive an English-language education in Québec.  In Québec City close to 60% of the students in English schools are Francophones.  This is possible because French-speaking, or for that matter, any family that has obtained a certificate of eligibility to English schools through, for example, a mixed marriage, can keep passing the privilege along to further generations until the End of Time.

(For example I posses one of the fabled Certificates of eligibility even though I was raised in a French-speaking household because my father was an alumni of the very English Lower Canada College. Had I exercised that right, I would have been able to pass it on to my descendants, regardless of the language they speak at home, as long as at least one kid from every generation studied for at least one year in an English school somewhere in Canada.

I, however, decided not to follow my father’s footsteps in the land of crew cuts (and also shattered my mother’s dream that I would study with the Jesuits of Brébeuf College like Pierre Elliot Trudeau) and once the ultra-nationalist unionized separatist teachers of l’École Notre-Dame-de-Grâce primary school were done thoroughly brainwashing my young impressionable mind, I decided to go to a multicultural French-language public High School instead.

So my family no longer belongs to the elusive society of the eligible…)

Hey, it’s not that it’s a bad idea for Québec’s English-speaking kids to take classes in French. What’s profoundly bizarre is the concept of English-speaking children immersing themselves in French in schools with no French kids two blocks away from an actual French school…

As even the Montreal Gazette reported, the result is technically bilingual kids who don’t know any French people and who are uncomfortable ordering a burger in French at McDonalds.

On the French side there is growing tension between proponents and opponents to the kind of bilingual programs that have become common on the English side.  While there is a lot of demand for them, opponents feel that the French schools’ mission of integrating immigrants into Québec society, especially in Montréal, could be seriously compromised if more English was introduced in the schools.

As a result, many French-speaking families in Montreal are massively abandoning the public school system for private schools that offer, among other things, better English classes.  Between 2001 and 2006 the number of students in Montreal’s private schools leaped by 30%.

All this together leads to a profoundly dyslexic school arrangement.  Immigrants to Québec are now intergrating themselves into Québec society in schools with no French-speaking Québécois, while Québec Francophones send their children to private schools.  Montréal Anglos are building their own parallel French school network with no French students while Francophones in the rest of the province are keeping an English school system alive even though there are no more actual English-speaking students.

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Written by angryfrenchguy

August 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Liberals Talk the Talk. Bloc Walks the Walk.

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Ruby Dhalla

It’s so hard to find good help these days.  They have no respect, run their mouths to the neighbours and think they have all the rights of, you know, real Canadians.

Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla won’t find much sympathy out there.  You can’t be young, scandalously sexy, successful, represent a battleground ridding and not expect the other side to try to portray you as an evil Veronica Lake.

We all know Ms Dhalla was accused a couple of weeks ago of mistreating three live-in domestic workers hired to take care of her mother.  One of them even accused the MP of withholding her passport.  The accused claims it’s some kind of vast right wing conspiracy and that its her brother who was abusing the Filipina workers anyway.

When my uncle was transferred to Singapore by his company, he told me about how the apartments literally came with a live in maid who had her one little room without Air Conditioning only two two rights: to work or to leave.  This is a common way of treating workers in many parts of the world.  There are many countries who recruit their labourers with temporary schemes and single-employer visas.  The Middle East is notorious for these emirates where 70% of the population is made up of temporary workers with partial rights who can be asked to leave the country on at any moment.

Canada has usually recruited its workers the other way: by granting those who agree to come, after some basic bureaucratic formalities, full rights of citizenship.  It’s a little more expensive to do it this way, but it tends to attract better quality personnel.

But there are a few exceptions to this rule.  Temporary agricultural workers, for example.  Or Live-in domestic help.

Live-in nannies and maids, contrary to other landed immigrants, are only allowed to work for one employer.  They are also obligated to live with this employer and do not benefit form all social services, things like CSST (work-accident protection) in Québec, for example.

This is, of course necessary because, well, do you have any idea how expensive it would be to hire three live in workers at a real salary?  You have to be serious, now.

Ms. Dhalla’s Liberal Party has always won the hearts and purses of Canada’s immigrant communities by portraying the Conservatives and, above all, the indépendantistes as evil and anti-immigrant.   Of course, live-in maids and nannies don’t vote, so the Liberal were quick to dismiss them and stand behind Ms. Dhalla.

Besides, anyone who’s ever walked through Westmount, Town of Mount-Royal, Hampstead and other Liberal strongholds in Québec between 9am and 5pm understands that any salary increase given to immigrant care-takers would seriously diminish the amount of disposable income these constituants would have for things like campaign donations.

People in Rosemont and Blainville, on the other hand,  can’t afford that kind of help, even the imported discounted kind.  That’s probably why the Bloc Québécois (with the NDP elsewhere in Canada) has been the only party actively working for the rights of these workers way back before this latest scandal made the issue sexy and politically lucrative and why they’ve  had the abolition of these discriminatory rules in their political platform since 2000.

This of course is surely only a cynical ploy to win over the nanny vote to their treasonneaous seccession projects.

You know, that horrible Republic of Québec that will treat immigrants and minorities like second class citizens that the Liberal Party is trying to protect you from…

Written by angryfrenchguy

May 18, 2009 at 7:08 pm

AngryFrenchGuy’s Pop Culture Reference Institute explains Michel Gauvin/Mike Gauvin

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janus

Way back in the day, after a young, ambitious and afro-ed young politician called Jean Charest was recruited by federalist headhunters to take the leadership of the Liberal Party of Québec and save Canada, a snoopy reporter dug up his birth certificate and discovered that – scandal! – his true name was not Jean has he had claimed, but John James!

Jean/John was coming to Québec months after the 1995 referendum, just as the emerging scandal about the illegal funding of the federalist campaign by secretive occult organizations was coming to light and amidst (still persistent) rumours that a ‘golden bridge’ was built for him by Canada’s business community, including a (confirmed) salary and Westmount home.

Already suspected of not being completely transparent about his financial supporters, the fact that he did not use the name his mother gave him only confirmed (at least in sovereingtist eyes) the duplicitous character of Jean Charest.

The Anglo-Canadian media’s interpretation? “Poor Jean Charest. He just isn’t pure laine enough for some Quebecers.”

It’s not that at all.

Jean/John James problem is that his birth certificate made him look like one of Québec’s most ridiculed archetypes, the Michel Gauvin/Mike Gauvin.

Michel Gauvin/Mike Gauvin is the hilarious character in the just as funny movie Québec/Montréal who completely changes the way he pronounces his name depending whether he is speaking French or English.

In some small circles, this is considered the ultimate in Canadian bicultural cosmopolitan cool.  Justin Trudeau lives in that world.  So does Robert Guy Scully/Robert Scully (said in a bad european accent in French).

This said, some people are able to pull off the Michel Gauvin/Mike Gauvin.  Brian Mulroney could be both French and English, although, to his credit, he didn’t change the way he pronounced his name.   To this day many francophones Québécois are convinced he is one of them, while many Anglos in Canada would be surprised to learn he speaks French at all!   Of course, Pierre Elliot Trudeau also played that game.  As did Paul Martin, with considerably less success.

Despite the appeal of this 21st century meta-Canadian who is both French AND English (and soon to be a little bit ethnic too) to nationalist Canadians, it is generally considered very uncool by the Québécois, both sovereigntists and federalists, to try to have two identities, depending on your audience.

The fact that the Michel Gauvin/Mike Gauvin is generally associated with politicians involved with shady financial conspiracies (Robert (Guy) Scully was never in politics but in 2000 he had to publicly and shamefully renouce the title of journalist after it was established he was involved in secretly government-financed federalist propaganda on CBC/Radio-Canada) doesn’t exactly help to project the image of name-switchers as stand-up honorable people.

The purity of the roots of these modern-day Januses is not what worries the Québécois.  Gilles Duceppe will repeat to anyone who will listen that his grand-father was British and, yet, it didn’t prevent him from kicking federalist ass in Québec for two decades.  The PQ had a Prime Minister called Pierre-Marc Johnson.  The Curzi’s, Rebello’s, Khadir’s and Kotto’s and McKay’s of the sovereignty movement have no problem being elected despite the fact they can’t hide their non-pure laine-ness.

The problem is not purity.  It’s a little bit about duplicity.  And a lot about just plain silly.

Written by angryfrenchguy

April 26, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Pure Laine is an English Word

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pure laine again

Just about as long as I’ve had this blog I’ve been using Google Alerts, a service that notifies you whenever some word or words of your choice pops up anywhere on the Internet.  I’ve been using to cover the AngryFrenchBeat, monitoring what’s being said about Québec, Montréal and Beyoncé on the Web.

One of the words I’ve been keeping track of for a few months is Pure Laine.  According to wikipedia, Pure Laine is “a politically and culturally charged phrase referring to the people having original ancestry of the French-Canadians.”  Apparently, at least according to Sun Media columnist Micheal Den Tendt, “many “pure-laine” Quebecers have always believed — that they, the descendants of original French settlers, are the only true Quebecois.”

The concept of the Pure Laine (or Pur Laine, I track the two spellings) was at the center of the infamous Jan Wong controversy.  In 2006 she wrote in the Globe & Mail about the Dawson College shooter Kimveer Gill: “the perpetrator was not pure laine, the argot for a ‘pure’ francophone. Elsewhere, to talk of racial ‘purity’ is repugnant. Not in Quebec.”

Well, it seems the English Canadian media has been doing a little bit of projection, here.   In the six months or so that I’ve been tracking the use of Pure Laine on the Internet, the racial purity of the Québécois has been an EXCLUSIVELY English-Canadian preoccupation.

The term Pure Laine came up in 56 english-language web pages, that’s more than twice as often as it’s use on french-language websites.

In thirty-seven cases – that’s 70% of the time – Pure Laine is used in English to describe the Québécois of Franco-Catholic ancestry.  This seems to be a very important concept in the English-canadian worldview.  Whenever Québec, canadian politics or language is discussed, the Pure Laine come up.  Not the Québécois as a civic nation.  Not French-speakers as a linguistic group.  Pure Laine Québécois as an ethnic group.  The Québécois as a race.

Of course, the people using the the term Pure Laine deny being the ones preocupied by the ethnic purity of the Québécois.  Nearly a third of the uses of Pure Laine were by people who felt they could state with absolute authority that “Pure laine is what some francophones from Quebec like to call themselves to state that they have pure, undiluted French blood and that they can trace their lineage all the way back to the original settlers who sailed over from France in the 1600’s”

What do bloggers know, you say?  Well one of them (one of only three english-language sources who challenged the ‘fact’ of Québec’s preoccupation with ethnic purity) kindly dug up a quote from some Calgary West Reform Party MP called Stephen Harper who, back in 1995, declared in the House of Commons: “Obviously, given the ethnic and sociocultural make-up of modern Quebec society, only the pure laine Quebecois could arguably be considered a people.”

Whatever happened to Stephen Harper?

In both English and French, Pure Laine has entered the vocabulary as a synonym for ‘true’, ‘old school’ or, more appropriatly, ‘dyed-in-the-wool’.  It came up to describe “Pure Laine Montrealers“, “Pure Laine federalists“, “Pure Laine proletarians“, and even Paul McCartney’s “Pure Laine Heterosexuality“.  In French the concept of “Pure Laine Shawin”  – as in the good people of Shawinigan, the home of former Prime minister and savior of Canadian federalism Jean Chrétien – came up no less than four times…

Such use of Pure Laine accounted for one third of the 25 times the word came up in French.  It was also used 33% of the time to discuss the Québécois, and another 33% of the time to describe – get this – WOOL.

In French, the term Pure Laine was used 8 times to describe people of ‘white-french-catholic-north-americans-of-franco-french‘ ancestry.  Five of those who used the word, however, would not be considered Pure Laine themselves by that definition…

The word is used, for example, in the journal Voir in a review of a book by Senegal-born comedian and marine biologist (yep.) Boucar Diouf about, precisely, the different prejudice and misunderstandings held by the Québécois, “Pure Laine and also immigrant”.

Imam Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Dameus Al-Hayiti, a black Québécois convert to a radical strand of Islam who’s been in the news lately, uses it to defend himself in La Presse against accusations of racism and hate speech.  His mother and grand-mother, he reminded the journalist, are Pure Laine.

Kim Myung-Sook uses the term Pure Laine to describe herself in her fascinating blog about the identity crisis of the children of massive international adoption who are just now coming of age all over the western world.  “Rejected/Sold by Korea.  Bought/assimilated by the Québécois.  I am a transracial adoptee, a reject of korean society recycled into a Québécoise Pure Laine with the appearance of an asian.  Ex-Korean, false Korean, Korean assimilated by the Québécois.”

“Un show Québécois Pure Laine” is also used as a caption to a picture of hip hop crew Loco Locass (who’s members are not all, as a matter of fact, Pure Laine) and as the theme of a series of videos by comedian Guy Nantel.  Whether Nantel’s objective was the glorification of the Pure Laines’ racial superiority, I’ll let you be the judge of that…

As for examples of Pure Laine Québécois claiming Pure Laine-ness, exalting the purity of their roots and the special privilege that comes or should come with the ability to trace one’s ancestors to Samuel de Champlain and his crew, not a single one.  Pas un.  Nada.  Zéro.

That definition of Pure Laine, it seems, is a purely English-language concept…

Written by angryfrenchguy

January 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm

The Definitive Guide to Switching Between French and English in Québec

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bilingual Montreal

At the Dépanneur, the Caisse Populaire and waiting in line at the SAAQ

In business situations, there is one rule and it is the same as anywhere else in the world:  The customer is always right.

The Good Faith Clause:  For months I had to visit the Royal Victoria Hospital twice a week to se a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist.  Both were English-speaking.  The Ocupational therapist always greeted me in French, apologized profusely for not speaking it better, and tried really hard.  The physio greeted me in English and made no effort to find out my preference.  I eventually asked the Occupational Therapist if we could speak English.  She had been very respectful and made a sincere effort but my English was better than her French and we mutually agreed that the communication would be easier in English.  Because the physio never made an effort, neither did I.  I only spoke French with her and she eventually had to deal with it.

At the Yacht club, Bingo and your local chapter of the Bilderberg group

When speaking to Montreal Anglos in social situations, I always speak French.  The Anglo usually responds in one of three ways:

French: The Anglo answers in fluent French and that’s that.

Franglais: The Anglo responds in a half French/half English bastard tongue.  I can understand him/her, so it’s cool.  I, however, stick with French.  Franglais is great for Hip Hop lyrics but I have no inclination to trade my ability to converse in two of the world’s greatest international language for the regional creole of Federal government secretaries.

English:  My fellow conversationalist answers in English, I respond in French, he continues in English.  We both understand each other, we are both speaking the language of our choice.  All is good.

The rules above are exactly the same for Anglo-Québécois addressing Francophones.

How to avoid being labelled a Maudit Anglais if you don’t speak French

French-speaker in Québec have very high expectation for their Anglo neighbors.  They’ve been telling us they are fluently bilingual for three decades now and, get this, we believe them.  That is why some visitors to Montreal and Québec sometimes faced with an aggressive response when speaking English.  To avoid this use accents and dress like a tourist.  If you can pull off a British or Australian accent people will not expect you to be able to speak French.

Sri Lankans, Philipinos, Canadians and other Immigrants

There are two schools of thought concerning the proper way to communicate with our new countrymen and women.

The pseudo-cosmopolitans: They believe that everyone who is not from Québec speaks English and that they are ‘helping’ immigrants by communicating with them in English.  This school of thought is very widespread in Québec City and other places that have little to no contact with actual immigrants.

The AngryFrenchGuys: We assume immigrants are just like real people and would appreciate to understand the social conventions of their new home as soon as possible, therefore we only speak French with them.

The Switch

English-speaking visitors to Québec frustrated by the Switch – the habit of Francophones of switching to English as soon as they hear the slightest hint of an accent your speech – should refer to the rules above.  The Francophone can switch to English if he wants to, but who is forcing YOU to switch with him or her?  Just keep on speaking French!  That or pretend to be a German tourist.

These are the rules.  Put them on the fridge.  Carry them in your wallet.  Now you know.

Written by angryfrenchguy

January 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Amir Khadir: A One Man Socialist-Separatist Coalition

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khadir

So who the hell is this Dr. Amir Khadir, you ask?

He is the immigrant-born, partly McGill-educated, leader of Québec’s newest sovereigntist party and now the first second Muslim ever elected to the National Assembly of Québec.

That’s quite a brainful for you, isn’t it, Canada?

Born in Teheran, Iran, Dr. Khadir immigrated to Québec with his parents at the age of 10.  He is a practicing physician at Le Gardeur Hospital and the co-spokesperson of Québec Solidaire, a small progressive party born of the left wing of the Parti québécois, the lukewarm remains of the Québec NDP and the typical rainbow coalition of hippies, communists, university professors, vegans and failed artists who, in other countries, support Ralph Nader and Jack Layton.

Oh, and he might also be a slightly nutty conspiracy theorist and, according to columnist Pierre Foglia, the Northern Hemisphere’s most far left politician.

In other words, a protest vote, right?  A freak disfunction of our British Parliamentary system, no doubt.

And yet… and yet…

Amir Khadir is all that, but he is also a genuinely well-liked man who’s been working very hard at the fringes of Québec’s political spectrum.  In Québec, a province where all three leaders of the Liberals, the PQ and the ADQ are career politicians who have never had real jobs, someone like Dr. Khadir, who has lead Médecin du Monde missions in Iraq and the Palestinian occupied territories, and who went to work at his hospital on the morning after his election, commands sincere admiration and respect.

In fact, he just might be Québec’s most charismatic politician since René Lévesque.  (Sorry, the Justin Trudeau thing isn’t working here…)

With Québec Solidaire’s co-leader Françoise David, Dr. Khadir has already performed a small miracle in uniting Québec’s far left into a coherent, if not plausible, progressive alternative.

A dream for sure, but a presentable dream.  Something solid enough to receive the support of Claude Béland, the former president of Québec’s biggest financial institution, le Mouvement Desjardins, and of Julius Grey, the eminent lawyer who has punched more holes in Bill 101 than any other living person.

It takes quite a man to unite a banker and an Anglo-rights activist in a party dedicated to Québec’s political independence…

Such is the curious but exciting mix of Québec Solidaire, a scrappy coalition of dreamers, feminists and social activists, including a respectable share of Anglos and minorities, united behind the general idea of a progressive and independent Québec.

Kind of like the Party Québécois before it forgot WHY it wanted Québec to be an independent country.

Of course, with 4% of the province-wide vote and a single MNA, it doesn’t cost much to Support Québec Solidaire.  Dr. Khadir might have convinced a dozen or so small left wing parties to temporarily put aside their differences over the interpretation of resolution 17.b of the IVth International Socialist Conference on proto-structural gender role-bias in a post-consumer society and unite under the single banner of Québec Solidaire for now, but we’ll see how long that coalition holds once he has to actually vote on legislation in the National Assembly.

Cynics will no doubt keep reminding the good doctor that, although he may claim to speak for the poor and disenfranchised, he was actually elected by the quite well off bobos of the Plateau.

Nor is he done explaining what he meant in 2006 when he said that he was not ready to ‘reject’ the various conspiracy theories claiming that the World Trade Center was an inside job.

Still,  few people ever thought that Amir Khadir’s unlikely coalition would hold together as long as it it did in the first place.  It will be interesting to see how well he will be able to use his increased visibility and credibility as an MNA.

One thing’s for sure, it’s been a while since anybody in Québec has been this enthousiastic about a politician.  At least since Barack Obama…

Written by angryfrenchguy

December 13, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Making a Complaint to the OQLF for (and because of) Idiots

with 251 comments

As part of my mission to demystify the strange and scary place called Québec, today, boys and girls, I’m going to initiate you to the most vile and hateful ritual that we separatists have been known to partake in. Grab your garlic and keep one browser window on justin.ca, we’re going deep into the bowels of evil French Brotherhood. For you, the inquisitive readers of AngryFrenchGuy, I will renounce the anonymous protection bestowed on me by my brethren and take you through my very first complaint to the Ordre de la Langue Française du Québec.

…or Office de la Langue Française. Whatever.

Growing up in NDG-by-the-Décarie, I’ve always been keenly aware of the difficulty a Francophone can have in obtaining service in French in some parts of Montreal. That said, on the whole, most people were in good faith and you just avoided the stores run by the others. Things had this way of working themselves out.

I had never made a complaint to the OQLF and never expected that would be something I would do. I’ve never been a strong supporter of defending French through legislation – except when it comes to the language of education – and I have always prefered to let my money do the activism.

I came back to Montreal after spending a few years living mainly in Ontario and the contrast hit me in the face like like a STM bus rear-view mirror. Whereas shopkeepers in Toronto were friendly helpful people who seemed to value the service aspect of their profession, in Downtown Montreal I was confronted with aggressive and resentful assholes who made no attempts to hide their sighs of exasperation when I asked to be served in French. Worse, the random NDG dinosaurs who would simply refuse to serve you in French were franchising all the way east on Saint-Denis and beyond.

It was while I was struggling with this increasing frustration and disgust that I came across the nice people at Boffey Auto Sales.

I was looking for a car on the Internet and found one I liked on boffeyautosales.com. I looked for the phone number on the page and I noticed it was all in English. I looked for a Français button, or something. There was none.

I decided to send the company an email. I’m not thinking of bill 101 or of the OQLF at this point. I’m talking about the good old fashioned free market. I sent the shopkeeper my grievance and hoped this would eventually influence him to change his approach. Here’s the copy/paste of my missive:

Hi

I was going to visit your business to look for my next vehicle but a quick visit to your website made me understand you are not interested in my business.

Hint: Only 17% of Montrealers have english as their mother tongue. Maybe some service in the language the est of us speak would help sales!

Meilleure chance la prochaine fois.

Georges

A bit of a wise-ass, but nevertheless polite.

Now here is the response I got from the good people at Boffey:

Hi George, (your name with the correct spelling!)

You seem to be able to communicate quite well in english. It really is too bad that you are so ignorant that you would let language stand in the way of getting a great deal!

Most of the traffic our website sees is from ebay, which you are probably aware, is in english. We advertise on http://www.lespac.com in the language you prefer, and are fluent in both english and french. We have a large french speaking customer base who are interested in getting a deal, not in bickering over language.

The cost to put together the website you see was 2,300$. It seems expensive, but vehicles can be uploaded, and listings modified by a child it is so simple. It would have cost an additional 1,000$ to have it translated. Seeing as most of our online business is conducted in the 9 other provinces that make up our COUNTRY, we decided to save a few dollars. To date you are the only one who has been insulted.

I am actually happy that you made the decision to avoid our lot. Dealing with pigheaded fools such as yourself rarely leads to any profitable business.

Be sure to take a trip on by Encan Direct H. Gregoire, MTL Autoprix or Corporatif Renaud, just to name a few, where you will be catered to in the language of your choice, and will also pay the price for it!!

Hint: The mother tongue of 88% of CANADIANS is english.

Bonne Chance!

Ian Weir
Boffeyautosal

That’s the day I made my first complaint to the OQLF.

Easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Clicked here: www.olf.gouv.qc.ca/francisation/respect/plainte.html, filled the form in 5 minutes and emailed it back. Got a message from the OQLF a week later saying they’d received my complaint. That’s the last I’ve ever heard of it.

As the website is still only in English even though the courts have ruled that ecommerce is absolutely within the OQLF’s jurisdiction, I can only guess that my complaint is one of the 1000’s that the Imperial Guardians of the Language just delete every year.

And you know what? At the end of the day I’d rather they go after Best Buy and Coach Canada than a poor chump selling used cars on ebay.

In fact, I actually could’ve accepted Mr. Weir’s explanation that the website is only for business outside Québec, had he told me politely. But that day, all I could think was that either he was going to have pay 1000$ to translate his website or he was going to have to pay a 1000$ fine. Busted.

Perhaps this is an illustration of how the system makes it to easy for people to make impulsive complaints about trivial problems.

On the the other hand, it is also a good example of how many business people bring problems upon themselves by being first-class twits.

Re-reading that email a year later, I feel I just might file a second complaint right now…

Written by angryfrenchguy

August 31, 2008 at 1:39 pm