'It's useless': OQLF targets Montreal West cupcake shop
Emmanuelle Chassé and her husband moved their bakery into a new storefront on Westminster Ave. in Montreal West last May.
As the name suggests, Cupcakes Emmagination specializes in cupcakes but quality service is a top priority.
“[My customers are] always treated like family here, they're served in both languages - and they're outraged that this is even an issue,” she said.
The issue is a letter that arrived two weeks ago from the Office quebecois de la langue francaise, detailing a complaint about an ice cream sign in the store that says describes sizes as “baby,” “medium” and “large” in English and a small chalk board with the words “catering” and “traiteur” written on it in the same size.
Chassé, a francophone, says when she and her husband set up shop their concern was their customers, not the language of signs.
“Canada's a bilingual country and we strive to serve all of our customers in both languages, in whichever language they feel most comfortable,” she said.
Many of Chassé's customers are upset with the OQLF letter.
“She's trying to make a business, she's trying to have a life, she's trying to move ahead and we're worried about signs. It’s a bit much,” said customer Louise Jones.
Chassé says she knew the language law required French lettering on signs to be larger, but she wasn't sure how much larger.
Chassé's husband is an anglophone and they raise their children bilingually. They try to have everything in the shop in both languages.
“I don't feel more important as a francophone than any other anglophone. I don't feel that my culture, my language is more important than the English language,” she said.
Because she doesn't have the means to fight the language watchdog, Chassé and her husband will have to rewrite their menus.
“I think that there's many more uses for the funding that the OQLF receives than what they're doing with their funding. It's a useless organization and it's fear mongering. It's bullying as well,” she said.