Quebec store owner ordered to post to Facebook in French
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, February 27, 2014 11:52AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 27, 2014 12:11PM EST
Quebec’s language police say a Chelsea store owner’s English Facebook posts violate the province’s language laws, but she argues that the provisions don’t cover social media.
Eva Cooper, owner of clothing shop Delilah (in the Parc), received a letter on Feb. 18 from the Office quebecois de la langue francaise saying it received a complaint that she was not posting to the store’s Facebook page in French.
Some of Cooper’s posts to her store’s Facebook page are in French or bilingual, but most are in English.
The letter says she is in violation of article 52 under the heading “the language of commerce and business” of Quebec’s Charter of the French Language. Article 52 states that catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories “and any similar publications” must be written in French.
Article 52 does not mention social media.
Cooper, who operates a second location of her shop in Ottawa, says she has operated businesses in Quebec since 2005 and has “always followed the law.”
“I have done it in French, I do them bilingually,” Cooper told CTV News Channel of her Facebook posts.
“But I’ve obviously insulted someone and I feel bad about that. But at the end of the day I never thought that the laws extended to Facebook.”
Cooper said that she has always maintained a fully bilingual staff, and does not conduct business transactions via social media.
The letter she received was written in French, and she has requested an English version. She has yet to receive the English letter, and has until March 10 to make changes or risk legal ramifications.
“I would like them to send me a letter stating what I do need to do,” Cooper said. “Social media is a very grey area…It’s really a form of extending my customer service.”
With files from CTV Ottawa