The Office québécois de la langue française, always looking for fun ways to spend money making anglos feel unwelcome, has started a new campaign to get store owners to place stickers in their windows reassuring people that yes, they speak French. They even got comedian Louis-José Houde to lend his voice to radio ads (because some unfamiliar voice telling you your language is in jeopardy just isn’t good enough).
The campaign is focused mainly on Montreal, but also Gatineau and the Eastern Townships, which are the three places you’re most likely to find anglos in Quebec.
I don’t quite get the point.
By law, all Quebec merchants should serve customers in French. So this sticker would be at best redundant.
The supposed idea is that merchants who don’t show the sticker would not see any francophone customers (or at least no card-carrying members of the St. Jean Baptiste Society). But that would only work once a majority of businesses got the sticker, which won’t happen any time soon no matter how free they are. Indeed, anything that smells of the OQLF would probably be rejected by Montreal businesses who don’t want to rock the boat and make things political for no reason.
Not to mention that searching for stickers would also annoy hard-core francophones who think all businesses should serve people in French (which, again, they’re required by law to do).
Besides, it would be fairly simple to just lie, put up one of those stickers and then promptly ignore it. People do that with alarm system stickers all the time.
So this campaign, which encourages retailers to unnecessarily affirm that they follow the law, and which annoys francophones and anglophones alike, is good for what exactly beyond wasting a bunch of taxpayer money?