Two Montreal hospital workers have caught the attention of the Office québécoisde la languefrançaise for speaking to each other in Creole.
The OQLF sent a warning to Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, a psychiatric hospital with about 90 beds, after receiving a complaint.
“If we receive a complaint, we have to look at it and see if there is a ground for it,” said OQLF spokesman Jean-Pierre Leblanc, adding that all complaints are confidential.
“If we receive information that there’s no problem about the application of the [French language] charter, then it will be filed away.”
Leblanc says that if the two employees were having a private conversation, then they would not be violating any language rules.
“The law allows…people to talk their own language if it's a private conversation — if there's no problem with the work,” he said.
Hospital officials meet with staff
Hospital officials say it's difficult for them to examine the matter, because they don’t know if the complaint came from an employee, a volunteer, or a family member.
“I don’t think it’s a generalized problem,” said hospital spokeswoman Johanne Gagnon.
Gagnon says hospital management has met with all its employees to remind them that they must speak French in the workplace.
It’s the hospital's second complaint in two years.