MONTREAL - Quebec's language office will use "more judgement" when analyzing complaints, said the provincial minister responsible for the Charter of the French Language.
Minister Diane De Courcy told reporters Friday morning the language office has undergone "profound changes to its organizational culture," in response to the embarrassing headlines the office generated earlier in the year.
The Quebec government was ridiculed around the world last February after the Office Quebecoise de la langue francaise (OQLF) objected to a Montreal restaurant's use of the word "Pasta" in its menu.
After the incident, many business owners contacted Quebec media to complain that the OQLF was too strict in its application of the province's complex language laws, which stipulate that French must be the dominant language in society.
The negative publicity led to the resignation of the OQLF's president Louise Marchand.
Complaints to the OQLF will now undergo a type of triage system, where bureaucrats will evaluate them based on merit, as opposed to the old protocol, which treated all complaints equally.
Complaints that are deemed frivolous or "minor breaches of the law" can now be dismissed altogether.
Business owners who feel maligned by the office now have the right to contact the newly created OQLF commissioner, who is tasked with ensuring that the language laws are enforced respectfully, OQLF deputy minister Jacques Beauchemin said Friday.
De Courcy said that while the OQLF's has been reformed, Quebec's controversial language legislation, known as Bill 101, is here to stay.
"For all those who have been anxious ever since the adoption of Bill 101, then I don't think I reassured them this morning," she said.