Mandy's Salad Bar in Westmount has run afoul of the Office québécois de la langue française over a vintage, decorative sign that just so happens to not be in French (see above). Sisters Mandy and Rebecca Wolfe went public with the news on March 7 on Facebook.
So the Office de la Langue Française came in for the 2nd time today on Sherbrooke to snap photos of our infringement of the language laws... And we'll be fined for these vintage signs.
Cue media blitz. Cue #Pastagate references. Cue mass panic from both sides of this endless, tiresome debate and this quote, from Rebecca Wolfe to a National Post reporter:
Everything is a little bit scary and unstable in Quebec right now. It is more of a fight against, do we leave? Do we stay? Are we made to feel comfortable? Are we encouraged as small businesses in Quebec to thrive or are we just made to feel uncomfortable?
This latest restaurant v. language watchdog incident, of course, follows others at the likes of Maison Publique, Burgundy Lion and Holder. And, notably, this brouhaha over antique signs at Joe Beef, which led to this memorable nugget from Dave McMillan: "I just get so sad and depressed and wonder, what's wrong with these people?"
When a business violates the Charter of the French Language (the full text of which is here, in English), fines can run as steep as $20,000.
The next Quebec general election is on April 7, by the way.
· Quebec language police order Mandy's salad bar to remove English signs [NP]
· Mandy's Salad Bar [Official Page]