34 thoughts on “Ici on commerce en français during store hours

  1. AlexH

    Considering we live in a city where a “successful” Bixi program needs 100+ million update, I can’t see anything wrong with the image. It pretty much sums up why we live in one of the most backwards places on earth.

  2. Pelle Moulante

    Well i think it is racism, pur et simple. Quebec has it’s own special breed of haters, and this is a great example. Also, it can’t be good for business to alienate a large portion of the population. Do we have to go to the back of the bus too?

    1. I set my friends on fire

      +1 for co-opting the 60’s civil rights movement to Quebec’s language debate.

    2. Jimmy Jack

      Maybe it as simple as after paying all their taxes, after hiring their employees and paying their salaries and actually starting a business to do all of the above and more than likely serving their customers in whatever language they want, they bought a cheap sign to save a few bucks? Oops.

      Notice paying the taxes was first, because creating wealth isn’t important here in QC.

      AlexH is quite correct, we live in one of the most backward places on this earth.

      Thanks for pointing this out, I can’t wait for you to point out all the typos in the gazoo.

  3. Alessandra

    OK là… Est-ce que c’est possible juste d’être amis avec tout le monde?

    Pi quand même….c’est American Apparel le magasin, tu t’attends à quoi?

  4. Mac Daddy

    We have a nice sticker like that at the Rona in the Eastern Townships……
    (Cowansville) It’s like being punched in the mouth with a fistful of PQ Crap!
    Look, if we could just get on with our lives and get over this language BS!
    If you cant speak french thats ok and if you cant speak english thats
    ok too! We can all comprends! Ont doit etre fier de notre province and let
    this go!!

    1. Vahan

      What would all the angry, scowling, chest thumping, finger wagging, shoulder shrugging old farts do with their time if this silly language issue was put away? The U.S has the same group of people but they declare war on oil rich countries and build up the military while they have sex with a same sex person in airport bathrooms (family values are important nonetheless) and we have the angry francophones who were probably beaten with big wooden rulers by nuns when they were young. They all have to let off steam somehow, I don’t think this sort of mental illness is yet diagnosed, so we might as well keep them in full view where we could see them causing trouble than in the dark edges of society doing who knows what. They are all psychopaths anyway why clog up our health system.

  5. Elsa

    This sign actually has been up for two years, I photographed it when it came out for The Link… but yah its unusual to see, but then again when I was doing cashier work I spoke in English and a guy demanded that he be served in French…

  6. Just Me

    Has someone made a complaint to the OQLF about this? The OQLF is always persecuting English businesses for having anything English in their stores, but this is obviously a French store (that doesn’t give a damn about English customers), but they have their business hours posted in English.

  7. Kevin

    Meanwhile this morning Nathalie Collard of La Presse is wondering why a restaurant opening in Old Montreal is allowed to have an all-English name.
    Because she’s apparently never heard of Burger King, McDonald’s American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Old Navy, etc….

    Le sigh.

  8. AlexH

    Just imagine if all of the money spent on language laws and policing and enforcement were instead spent on education, roads, and infrastructure.

    *shakes head*

    It isn’t hard to explain why Quebec is working so hard to stay afloat.

  9. Jon (DeepBlue)

    La stupidité est partout. Ça n’a rien à voir avec la langue!
    Stupidity is everywhere. This here has nothing to do with language!

  10. Fassero

    If that’s American Apparel (it looks like it), I have no thought. Okay, other than I’m confident that the bankruptcy papers forthcoming will be filed in predominantly English language. The American courts won’t understand the French.

  11. John

    I went to a funeral last Saturday and was happy to see that sign at the Funeral Home.It is so important!

  12. dewolf


    Annual OQLF budget: $20 million.
    Annual total government budget: $66 billion

    It’s a drop in the bucket. “If all of the money spent on language laws and policing and enforcement were instead spent on education, roads, and infrastructure” it wouldn’t even make a difference. It costs more than $20 million to clear a single winter snowstorm.

    1. AlexH

      It isn’t the OLF budget alone, that would be too easy.

      It’s all the money spent on “french-ifying” stores, businesses, and the like. It’s all the money spent on duplicated systems, from tax collection (sales and income) to immigration, and tons of other government functions that are duplicated “ici only”. It’s the untold billions of dollars (and tons of jobs) that were chased down the 401. It’s the magic invisible barrier at the Quebec border that stops companies from opening here when they open in the rest of Canada.

      When you add it all up, Quebec as lost so much, it is painful to see. When you see how much is spent every year duplicated federal services (including have foreign embassy type “missions” overseas), you can start to understand how much is wasted trying to keep Quebec both French and distinct.

      Oh yeah, as a side note, remember that everything from your food to your clothes is slightly more expensive here because we are all paying for the “district” promotional materials that get used in chain stores in Quebec that otherwise would not be needed. There are so many of these little “gotchya” things that add up to a pot full of money.

    2. Apple IIGS

      How about using that money for something of actual importance, say inspectors to police the welfare and mistreatment of animals? Quebec, as you may or may not know, is THE worst offender in terms of animal abuse and neglect in North America. It also has the most lax (or non-existent) laws in North America and most parts of the world.

      Quebec has a total of 7 animal inspectors for the entire province, compared with Ontario that has close to 300! I won’t even mention how these 7 inspectors don’t even have the power to seize animals or make arrests.

      It’s a clear reflection on the attitude of Quebec when it spends money on inspectors to infringe on basic human rights and freedoms and intimidate citizens, but so callus as to not give a damn about helpless animals. You know what? Not on does the OQLF deserve a budget of ZERO dollars, it should be abolished.

    3. AlexH

      I wrote a reply that didn’t get posted, not sure what happened. Anyway:

      The OLF budget is only the tip of the iceburg. How much money is spent duplicating federal services to they can be part of the “Quebec Nation”? From tax collection, sales tax, and such to immigration and foreign embassies (called missions) Quebec spends scads of money to try to duplicate what should be done at the federal level. All in the name of preserving the language and “culture”.

      Let’s not forget how many billions have been spent by private companies to “go french”, to convert and reprint their ads and such in french, and how much more they have to pay top talent to move to Montreal because it’s such a hassle? How many billions have been lost by the great highway 401 migration? Does anyone remember when Montreal was bigger than Toronto? Hint: It was just before the introduction of bill22. Cause and effect, anyone?

      It’s a whole ball of wax, not just one single office.

      1. Jean Naimard

        You mean, the services the federal governent duplicates because they are under Québec’s constitutional jurisdiction???

    1. Bookend

      Enjoyed your “mini doc”. Too bad more people haven’t seen it. I vaguely remember reading about this campaign a couple of years and I didn’t think that it would catch on with the majority of Francophone business owners, for obvious reasons. Notice that the models they used for the posters were white only.

      Here’s a playful poke at “Ici on commerce..” http://bit.ly/ltYLlN written back in 2008.

  13. Robert H

    Everyone says they’re tired of this topic but the back-and-forth never stops. AlexH no doubt voices the resentment of thousands of Anglophone Quebeckers at the last half-century of socio-political upheaval, but neither he nor they seem to have learned anything from it. The bitterness that stains his perspective admits no shread of value to the presence of the French fact. Instead, he sees only a money pit with consequences leading from bad to worse. Making accommodations for a language and culture that are not your own can be annoying, inconvenient, and costly. But if you live in a place where millions of others claim that language and culture, it might occur to you that they would think differently. When you begrudge the spending of public and private dollars on everything from signs in stores to overseas missions, they might tell you they pay taxes too and appreciate accessing services in their language at what ever level of government they require. You take for granted that the merchant who wants your custom should also use your language to solicit it, yet complain about district promotional materials aimed at shoppers in that other language with the same expectation. When you lament that the budget for the OQLF would be better spent on improving conditions for shelter animals in Quebec, even speakers of that other language who agree with you in principle might suspect that your concern for abused animals is secondary to your hatred for their existence. When you recall with nostalgia the good old days when Montreal was the biggest city, everybody had a job and the economy boomed, they might tell you about how much they resented not being served in their own tongue, or having to always speak yours on the job, or feeling like an afterthought in their own country. When you denounce without nuance any effort to promote or insure the continued existence of that other language, they might misinterpret your denunciations as a preference for their extinction. To read AlexH, the simple solution to the miseries that ail Quebec would be to purge it of all this French nonsense. In the Quebec struggle for coexistence, Anglos have good reason to gripe. But their cause won’t be advanced by a Francophobic rant.

  14. Sam

    “Ici” speaks Québécois. And Québécois obviously means french :) And it’s all blurry, thus confused…?
    C’est mon opinion sur la chose.

  15. Éric Tourillon

    The angryphone rants on this site every time a post like this goes up are a separatist goldmine. I would like to thank Alex H. and others like him for their contributions to this blog, for each time I read them, they only reconfirm my support for Québec independence.

    Clearly, people do not hesitate to create their own realities from almost nothing. That some simply presume that ‘billions’ have been ‘wasted’ on francisation by both public and private purses, only goes to show how much they simply are unable to accept a reality that their own community essentially created. There would be no Quebec nationalism, no serious support for Quebec secession if the past 50 years of ‘frenchification’ had not been preceded by 350 years of second-class treatment of francophones in this country, on their own turf. English Quebec made it’s bed, and now is sleeping in it.

    As for Toronto, all the head offices in the world hasn’t been able to render that city the least bit interesting or unique. Montreal remains a world class city, and if people like Alex H. find it difficult to live there, then maybe they should try learning the language.


  16. Gabriel

    It’s only a sticker aimed to potential francophone customers who could think service in French isn’t always guaranteed downtown. What’s inherently racist with it? It doesn’t read «French only».


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