Montreal West cupcake shop under the OQLF microscope

MONTREAL – A small cupcake store in Montreal West has been put under the microscope of Quebec’s language police because of the writing on its blackboard.

Emmagination Cupcakes displays a sign that reads “Traiteur” with the English translation “Caterer” written just below in what appears to be equal size.

The sign in question, Monday, September 28, 2015. Gloria Henriquez/Global News

The shop received a visit from an inspector and a complaint letter that was mailed later on Sept. 18.

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“I was caught off guard, I thought they would call,” said owner Emmanuelle Chassé.

“Just the way he came in, it was a little bit harsh.”

According to the language police, the sign was in violation of the French Language Charter because the French writing was not large enough.

Article 58 states that commercial signs must be displayed in French.

“It can be in another language, but French has to be more prominent than the other language,” explained Jean-Pierre Leblanc,  a spokesperson for the OQLF.

The exterior of Emmagination Cupcakes, Monday, September 28, 2015. Gloria Henriquez/Global News

It’s up to the government’s discretion to allow another language to be predominant.

A second sign that reads “Ice Cream Baby Medium Large” is also under question.

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According to the OQLF, the sign is unilingual, and therefore in violation of the Charter.

Chassé insisted it was a “disappointing” complaint, especially given the fact that she is a Francophone.

“It hurts my heart that this is even an issue. My husband is an Anglophone, my kids are bilingual,” she said.

“But I know that if I don’t comply I’m going to stir the pot. And I, myself am not enough to bring forth changes.”

Some clients told Global News they didn’t even notice the signage.

“I don’t think having a sign in French that is not as big as the sign in English hurts anybody,” commented Alex Rona.

Chassé said she will comply and change the signs and continue to serve her clients in both languages, as she always has.

The complaint the OQLF sent to the owners of Emmagination Cupcakes.


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