|Louise Marchand, president of the Office Quebecoise de langue francaise. (ETIENNE LABERGE/QMI AGENCY)
MONTREAL — Quebec may have been the butt of international jokes due to its recent language inspector controversies, but it's clear that the government was not laughing.
Following a slew of embarrassing international headlines, the president of Quebec's language office, Louise Marchand, resigned after
what the government called a "mutual agreement" between her and the minister responsible for the French language, Diane De Courcy.
And with Marchand's resignation comes a reorganizing of the entire language office, De Courcy told reporters Friday.
She said that after a language inspector chided a Montreal restaurant owner because his menus didn't have the French-language translation for the word "pasta," a crisis ensued.
"It was a big crisis," said De Courcy. "We had 60 countries report on this issue, and we weren't all very proud about it. But at the same time, this was also an opportunity."
The language office said it launched an internal review of its protocols following the negative media coverage.
The results of the report have not been made public, but De Courcy said Friday the office will undergo a "modernization" process, while maintaining its fundamental goal of protecting the French language in Quebec.
Also on Friday, the federal government announced that it will not force the 1,760 companies in Quebec under federal jurisdiction to comply with the province's language laws
Industry Minister Christian Paradis told reporters in Gatineau, Que., that a study commissioned by the federal government revealed that the extending the French requirements — a measure that both the Bloc Quebecois and NDP wanted — wasn't necessary.