OQLF warns Burgundy Lion of complaint about tiny sticker
Published Thursday, January 28, 2016 1:35PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 28, 2016 7:24PM EST
A restaurant owner has a warning for other restaurateurs in Montreal: if you get a good review from Trip Advisor, don't advertise it.
The latest complaint filed with the OQLF is for a tiny sticker placed on the front window of The Burgundy Lion, a pub in Little Burgundy.
The language police have no problem with the name of the establishment -- that is protected by language laws.
However the agency says a small sticker, smaller than the palm of your hand and located about knee level in the pub's front window, is in violation of Quebec's laws regarding signage.
The sticker reads, in letters less than one centimetre high, "Recommended on tripadvisor.ca," and is accompanied by a large logo of an owl.
Toby Lyle, co-owner of The Burgundy Lion, said the sticker is small and not easily visible.
"I had to go outside and look for it, I couldn't remember where it was. I myself had to search for the sticker yesterday, it's so small," said Lyle
He said the Office Quebecoise de la Langue Francaise visited his restaurant and said the sticker should be replaced by a French-language version so as to be in compliance with laws regarding the dominance of the majority language of Quebec.
The OQLF says the letter is more of a reminder than a threat. More than 300 business-owners have received similar letters in what the OQLF is calling an "awareness campaign."
“For sure that people from the office went while doing their work and noticed those signs and then that's how we came with the names and sent the letters,” said spokesperson Jean-Pierre Le Blanc.
Lyle was informed that the OQLF only visited his establishment because it received a complaint.
"That's the weird thing. Somebody's got to go around looking exclusively for these things. They're looking for problems. They're trying to create problems," said Lyle.
"I don't believe the majority of the population has a problem."
"I have no problem putting a French one there as well, but the English one is not coming down," said Lyle.
He added that the government agency only deals with a few hundred legitimate complaints each year.
"I heard that the OQLF only handles about 4-500 complaints... but they won't give the information about how many people that represents, whether it's just five or ten people who repeatedly make complaints," said Lyle.
The OQLF refuses to disclose that information to the public, but the SSJB has in the past awarded prizes to the individuals who make the greatest number of complaints to the OQLF.
In April 2012, the Societé Saint Jean Baptiste filed 850 complaints with the OQLF in a single day, the overwhelming majority of which were believed to be groundless.