Teenaged entrepreneur denounces business-limiting language laws
Published Friday, July 26, 2013 7:56AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 26, 2013 4:25PM EDT
A Gatineau teenager is taking on the Parti Quebecois and its desire to create more hurdles for using languages other than French in Quebec.
17-year-old graphic designer Xavier Menard tried to register his company but was told by the Quebec business registry that he couldn't because the company's name--Wellarc--is too English.
"My first reaction was 'you must be kidding'," Menard said.
The bureaucrats were serious, so the mild-mannered teenager took his anger to YouTube
In a short video Menard attacks Pauline Marois's government, not for its desire to protect the French language, but for its "idiotic" methods.
"I wanted to send a message because, in all seriousness, I am beginning to find the situation a bit ridiculous," said Menard.
In his video Menard points out Quebec's 7.5 percent unemployment rate, which is higher than the national average, and says it is even worse for youth.
"What's the point of protecting French in the workplace if there's no work to be had?"
Menard also wants to know why the government wants to isolate Quebecers from the world -- which often uses English as a second language.
"If I name my company another name, it will not help me grow my company and maybe we might lose sales elsewhere. If I want to go online I will lose sales."
Menard says all he wants to do is create jobs for young Quebecers and he's appealing to Pauline Marois to stop limiting people from using whatever language they want.
A representative from the provincial language bureaucracy told CTV Montreal Friday that Quebec's language charter dictates that a company's name must be French.
"It's possible to have an element in the name that is not French but then it must be accompanied by a generic term, such as 'restaurant,' or 'boutique,'" said Martin Bergeron of the Office de la langue francaise.
Xavier Menard's video on YouTube