02/27/2014 07:56 EST | Updated 04/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Quebec Store Owner Ordered To Translate Facebook Page To French

The 'Facebook' logo is seen on a tablet screen on December 4, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
The Quebec government has ordered the owner of a store in Chelsea, Que., to change the language of her store’s Facebook page to French.

Eva Cooper owns the women’s clothing boutique store, Delilah {in the Parc}, with locations in Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood, as well as in Chelsea, just north of Gatineau.

Cooper said she serves customers in both languages, but her Facebook posts are mostly in English.

“I was a little bit in shock. I was a bit taken aback,” Cooper said regarding the request to change her Facebook page.

“It’s not like I’ve ever not followed the law with my businesses on the Quebec side.”

Customer complaint

Cooper said she received a letter from the provincial government after a customer complained the page did not meet the requirements of Bill 101, the main legislation in Quebec’s language policy.

She has been ordered to translate her page by March 10 or she could face legal action.

A government spokesperson said any promotional material from a business must be written in French, including posts on Facebook and Twitter.

But Cooper argues there are blurred lines because the law does not mention social media.

“Interestingly enough, it doesn’t really state anything to do with Facebook, but it does talk about catalogues and brochures and flyers,” Cooper said.

“We are dealing with social media and the World Wide Web. It definitely is another area, and it’s a grey zone.”

Cooper said she requested an English copy of the letter from the government and she wants to learn more background on the law before making any changes.

In 2001, a couple selling maple syrup was fined for operating an English-only website in Quebec.

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