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Man furious after Quebec-issued death certificate not accepted because it's not in French

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A Montreal area man is outraged after the Quebec government rejected his father's death certificate that was produced in English.

Even though the government produced the English certificate in 2009, he said he's being told that due to the French-language law - Bill 96 - he needs it to be in French.

When his father David Grover died, the English certificate was not a problem when the family settled his estate, but this year, they were selling a piece of land that Grover partially owned, and that required the death certificate.

When the family submitted it to the Ministry of Natural Resources, his son Steven Grover couldn't believe the response.

"When I saw this, I thought this is so frivolous, so mean spirited," he said.

The son received a letter from the ministry saying that because the death certificate was in a language other than French, it must be accompanied by an authenticated translation in Quebec.

"I said, 'No. I'm not doing this," said Grover. "This is ridiculous."

Grover was stunned that the Quebec government was rejecting a document that was government issued.

"It's a misapplication of the law," he said. "This is just ridiculous."

Grover was told he could have the death certificate officially translated,

which would cost about $100.

"This is in no way protect the French language," said Eva Ludvig of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).

The network said it's starting to hear more stories resembling Grover's,

and the English-rights group is not surprised.

"There are so many elements in Bill 96 that are so invasive, so ridiculous, so unnecessary that we knew as time went on and things started being implemented that we would see the absurdity, and this is absurd," said Ludvig.

The French-language ministry said it's following the file and seems somewhat open to a compromise.

"[The bill] provides that a department or agency may accept an official document in English from the government of quebec in a contractual context," the ministry said in a statement.

Grover hopes a change comes soon and that refusing an English death certificate is just wrong.

"It doesn't reflect Quebec society," he said. "This is a very bilingual and kind place where people are very respectful to each other in English or French." 

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