A complaint by Quebec’s language police over a Montreal bar was simply a misunderstanding.

St-Laurent Blvd. bar Blue Dog Motel posted to Facebook Monday a photo of a letter it received May 9 from the Office quebecoise de la langue francaise, saying its name violates the French language charter.

The letter, addressed to the president of the Blue Dog Motel, says the bar’s name violates three sections of Bill 101.

Those sections dictate that:

-Public signs and posters and commercial advertising may also be both in French and in another language provided that French is markedly predominant,

-The name of an enterprise must be in French,

-The name of an enterprise may be accompanied with a version in a language other than French provided that, when it is used, the French version of the name appears at least as prominently,

The letter also states a business must use a French descriptor if its name is in a language other than French.

It asks that the business owner contact the OQLF investigator before July 8 to discuss appropriate courses of action.

Owner Raphael Kerwin, however, said they added the descriptor “bar/barbier” over a year ago. After he called the OQLF, he posted the letter to the bar’s Facebook page and received a flood of support.

Shortly afterward, he said the OQLF called with an apology.

“They said they came by the bar a year ago before the sign was up that said ‘bar/barbier,’ taking pictures and then sent us this letter assuming we hadn't changed it at all,” said Kerwin.

The Blue Dog Motel has been named as such for over 20 years.
The OQLF told CTV Montreal that 99 per cent of the complaints they receive are resolved without fines.