Brickbat: Language Police


Quebec business leaders say a new law taking effect this year that requires many companies to use the French language will increase their costs and could make it harder for them to serve clients overseas or even in the rest of Canada. Bill 96 requires firms with more than 25 employees to certify they conduct business primarily in French and to make sure other languages are spoken in the workplace as little as possible. The law also mandates that contracts be in French, even if both parties would prefer another language. Firms would also have to justify to regulators if they recruit employees who speak a language other than French. Companies that violate the law face fines of up to $30,000 (about $22,000 U.S.).