I have to say I partially understand the Canadian province of Quebec’s La charte de la langue française; the people of Quebec are very proud of their French heritage and originally passed Loi 101 in order to the stem what they saw as the inevitable disintegration, and overthrow, of their culture by evil English speaking anglophones. I get it. As xenophobic as it sounds, I really do get it. But the lengths the so called “language police” – the Office québécois de la langue française (QQLF) – go to enforce French language signage and products is staggeringly draconian in its nature.
The latest business on the QQFL’s hit list happens to be Chez Geeks, a Montreal based gaming store. Chez Geek co-owner Giancarlo Caltabiano reports he has received three notices from the QQFL stating the store will be fined if it continues to sell products which do not have French language equivalents. The letters also claim the staff at Chez Geeks does not greet their customers in French, as the law demands. The language laws in Quebec even go to the extreme that if a French edition of a game were to sell out Caltabiano must remove all other language editions from the shelves until the French game is restocked.
Caltabiano now says if the QQFL continues it’s pursuit to fine Chez Geeks he will simply close shop.
With a weak Canadian dollar, and projections of a recession hitting the country later this year, does it make much sense for the government of Quebec to drive honest hard working men and women out of business (or at least out of the province) in support of a law a great many consumers believe go too far? Obviously I don’t live in Quebec so it’s possible the province doesn’t need tax revenues or the such. But I doubt it…