Quebec language police won't fine store owner for Facebook page
Published Monday, March 3, 2014 7:28PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 7:17PM EST
A store owner who was caught in the crosshairs of Quebec’s language police is no longer facing a fine for her English Facebook posts.
Eva Cooper received a letter on Feb. 18 from the Office quebecois de la langue francaise saying a complaint had been logged regarding her posts to her store’s Facebook page, many of which are written in English.
The letter ordered Cooper to translate the page into French or face a fine.
On Monday, Cooper told CTV Ottawa that officials withdrew the threat of a fine on a promise that all posts to the store’s Facebook page be both in both English and French.
Officials also told her they agreed with her assertion that more clarity is needed about how Quebec’s language laws apply to social media. She has requested a letter confirming the new developments in writing, CTV Ottawa reported.
Last week, Cooper said the letter accused her of violating Article 52 of Quebec’s Charter of the French language, which covers “the language of commerce and business.” Article 52 states that catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories “and any similar publications” must be written in French.
Article 52 does not mention social media.
Cooper told CTV News Channel last week that she has owned businesses in Quebec since 2005, and has always hired fully bilingual staff and has “always followed the law.”
While she has posted to her store’s Facebook page in French, she acknowledged that not every post is written in both languages. However, she never thought that the language law applied to Facebook, she said.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin