A teenage Quebec entrepreneur has a few choice words for the government after being told his company’s name is too English.
When Xavier Menard, a 17 year old from Gatineau, Que., tried to register his graphics company with the name ‘Wellarc,’ the Quebec business registry refused, according to CTV.
“I'd like to send a message to the government, because, seriously, I find the situation a bit ridiculous. I don't oppose the good intentions of Bill 101, but I find the means to enforce it a bit stupid,” he said.
Quebec’s Bill 101 requires businesses in the province to have French names and signs. (Bilingual signage must feature French in larger type.) The PQ government wants to strengthen the bill and extend it to smaller businesses.
Menard argues it doesn’t make sense to limit the choices of Quebec businesses when the province has a high unemployment rate. Quebec's May jobless rate was 7.7 per cent, compared to the national average of 7.1 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
The teen also notes that his potential sales outside Quebec could depend on the name he chooses.
“It's by creating Quebec businesses that we can be proud of our Quebec and promote our French language elsewhere,” he said in his video.
Although a business name can have a part that is not French, it also needs “a generic term such as 'restaurant,' or 'boutique,’” Martin Bergeron, of the Quebec Board of the French Language, told CTV.
Menard’s lawyer is trying to get the name approved, according to CJAD. On Twitter, the teen describes the name Wellarc as an acronym.
This conflict follows several controversial attempts by the Quebec Board of the French Language to enforce the Charter of the French Language.