Struggling Montreal businesses dealing with language complaints
Restaurants and bars have not had an easy go during the pandemic and two business owners say in addition to their problems they now have another.
At the Petros Taverna in Westmount, the tables are set for Monday when the dining room can finally reopen.
But owner Ted Dranias says he has another headache to deal with — a letter from Quebec's language watchdog, the Office quebecois de la langue française.
“When I opened it, it kind of disgusted me,” Dranias said.
“And after living what we've been living for the past two years, I was a little bit insulted.”
The letter said a customer could not be adequately served in French.
“That's impossible. I would say 100 per cent impossible. I would switch from any language from French to English to Greek,” said Anastasios Roussopoulos at the restaurant.
They're not the only ones getting a warning. The Blue Dog Motel also got a letter this past week.
The bar is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but owner Raphael Kerwin told CJAD 800 someone complained about posts on the bar's Facebook page.
“It was telling us we had to change all of our social media posts, that were in French and in English,” said Kerwin.
The OQLF confirmed both establishments were sent letters and businesses need to be mindful of their online presence, just like any other advertising or signage.
“In 2020-2021, the Office received more than 1,200 complaints about social networks and websites, more than double the number the previous year,” an OQLF spokesperson said
“As a reminder, the Office does not impose a fine. It is the courts that may do this if companies refuse to comply.”
But Kerwin asks: why now?
“Here on in, sure, we will be doing it bilingually. But my problem is during this pandemic, while we're closed they've spent the time to nitpick our tiny little Facebook page, which we barely even use any more,” he said.
“So, to me, it feels like a complete waste of time.”
CTV News reached out to the minister responsible for the French language in Quebec, Simon Jolin-Barrette, for comment.
“Quebecers have the right to be served in their language: French. It is a fundamental right that all businesses must respect, at all times. It isn’t something new. It is what Bill 101 has provided since 1977,” Jolin-Barrette said in a statement.
Dranias, however, still questions the timing.
“During this time, people have to work together. They have to join together, they have to be nice to each other,” he said, “and here we're getting nitpicked in the middle of all this stuff going on.”
Montreal Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
By now it's as predictable as the calls for thoughts and prayers: A mass shooting leaves many dead, and wild conspiracy theories and misinformation about the carnage soon follow. Within hours of Tuesday's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, another rash began as internet users spread baseless claims about the man named as the gunman and his possible motives.
Canada is committing an extra $1 million to help the international community investigate sex crimes by Russian troops in Ukraine. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Canada would give the extra funds to the International Criminal Court to help it investigate sexual violence toward women, and also crimes against children.
Conservative Party of Canada leadership hopefuls Scott Aitchison, Roman Baber, Patrick Brown, Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis, and Pierre Poilievre squared off in the second official party debate on Wednesday night in Laval, Que.
Several parts of the country, including British Columbia and Canada's Maritime provinces, are likely to see wetter-than-normal conditions this summer, according to AccuWeather's annual summer forecast.
Families are sharing photos and stories of their loved ones, who lost their lives in a mass shooting in Texas that killed at least 19 children and two adults on Tuesday afternoon.
Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman's rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol team.
During an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday, adopted siblings Hannah Raleigh of Chicago and Limia Ravart of Montreal met in person for the first time after an ancestry test confirmed the two are in fact related.
A fire in the neonatal unit of a hospital in Senegal has killed 11 newborns, President Macky Sall said. Only three infants could be saved.
The circumstantial evidence against Nathan Carman had been lying in plain sight for years before his surprising indictment and arrest this month on allegations he killed his mother at sea off New England in a plot to inherit millions of dollars.
Was your home damaged by the Ontario storm? Insurance companies say payouts could take weeks to process
The insurance industry says it could take up to six weeks to get an idea of how many hundreds of millions of dollars in pay outs will be required from the weekend storm that brought death and destruction to Ontario and Quebec, but that early estimates are substantial.
Police have released new video of a recent incident in which a vehicle was caught doing doughnuts and speeding along the shoulder of busy Ontario roadways.
People all across Ontario are getting creative when it comes to netting a secondary income, otherwise known as a “side hustle,” and many are turning to secondhand economies thriving on online platforms.
As the inquiry into Nova Scotia’s mass shooting moves its public proceedings to Truro, many of the family members affected by the tragedy and their lawyers are boycotting the proceedings over the next week.
Former Chief Anchor Steve Murphy offers a timely perspective on the Mass Casualty Commission and the difference 30 years after the Westray inquiry.
Speaking off-script at an event in Halifax Wednesday morning, Canada's Minister of Public Safety said he was gutted by the latest mass shooting south of the border - the 27th in a school this year alone.
Victoria Day weekend fireworks violations spark new effort to implement a ban.
Two men and one woman are facing charges Wednesday after police say their vehicle struck a London police cruiser and then the suspects fled the scene on foot over the weekend.
OPP and Southwest Middlesex fire are on the scene of a fatal collision Wednesday afternoon involving a tanker truck and a passenger vehicle.
Sault Ste. Marie city council is asking staff to prepare a report on group homes. This comes after Ward 1 Coun. Paul Christian brought forward concerns this week about two such homes.
There are currently a dozen statues at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes property, and all are from the 1950s.
It’s a sign that summer is on the horizon. Farmers’ markets are opening in cities and towns across the north.
The City of Calgary has recruited three people from the commercial real-estate sector in an effort to get a new event centre to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome.
After a massacre at a Texas elementary school, some are looking into safety protections against gun violence in Calgary's school system while mental health experts are offering advice for difficult conversations about mass shootings.
Those who haven't received their bill by the first week of June are asked to contact 311.
New details are emerging about the tragic incident that killed 27-year-old Shelby Humble-Neale on Saturday.
Waterloo regional police say evidence of gunfire found in McLennan Park in Kitchener is connected to another shooting incident in the nearby area of Windflower Drive and Windflower Crescent.
Two 29-year-old men have been seriously injured following a collision in Baden, Ont., with one needing to be airlifted to a hospital outside the region.
The decision to focus on urgent and emergency health care to avert long waits played a key role in B.C.’s current primary care crisis, and the costlier care is compounding the problem.
A social media video that captures the moment a man gets Tasered by a Vancouver police officer is prompting calls for more training for police going out mental health calls.
A judge has refused to grant a B.C. cannabis company an injunction against a man who used a list of email addresses the company accidentally sent to all shareholders against it.
If you visit downtown Edmonton in the next 11 days, you might see some strange and unusual sights. Art installations and musical performances are popping up throughout the area as part of Downtown Spark.
Even though they cheer for opposite teams, a proposal by a Flames fan at Game 4 of the Battle of Alberta received a resounding "yes" from the Oilers-loving bride to be.
The body of a missing canoer has been located in northeast Alberta.
After a major tragedy, should parents wait for their children to express their feelings before talking about it?
Not having an answer to all of your child's questions about tragedies like the Texas school shooting is perfectly okay, according to a grief therapist with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Helping students break down academic and social barriers, more Temi robots coming to St. Clair College
The Community Integration through Cooperative Education (CICE) program at St. Clair College received a $20,000 boost Wednesday morning.
Windsor police arrest final suspect sought in Forest Glade shooting, Major Crimes Unit continues investigation
Windsor police have arrested another suspect related to the shooting near a Forest Glade bowling alley in April.
'All it takes is one': Sask. RCMP partner with Washington police to publicize disappearance of Mekayla Bali
Saskatchewan RCMP and the Washington State Patrol announced a collaboration of efforts to locate Mekayla Bali, who was 16-years-old when she was last on April 12, 2016 in Yorkton.
A new art exhibit at the George Bothwell Library is hoping to examine and remove the feeling of shame associated with people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
For those looking to hop the border into Manitoba for their camping seasons, it started off on the wrong foot for Duck Mountain Provincial Park.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Here's what you need to know about the storm cleanup in Ottawa today
Hydro Ottawa is hoping to energize hydro lines in the Merivale Road area today, as the cleanup continues following last Saturday's devastating storm.
The president of Hydro Ottawa says "with a little bit of luck" power will be restored along the Merivale Road area on Thursday, bringing power to another 15,000 to 20,000 customers still in the dark following Saturday's storm.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board says all schools with power will be open on Thursday, but 14 schools without power will remain closed.
The Prime Minister toured the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, which is working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
Saskatoon Police Service says that the use and presence of potent new synthetic opioids known as nitazenes are difficult to track and monitor.
A 48-year-old semi-truck driver was killed in in a rollover near Meadow Lake on Tuesday.