Barbara Kay has an excellent commentary on the Office quebecoise de la langue francaise, otherwise infamous as the language police or tongue troopers.

She sums up her blasting of Quebec’s linguistic intolerance as follows:

The only beneficiaries of this fiasco will be Sainte Agathe’s ducks. Henceforth the signs forbidding people to feed them, up to now in English as well as French, must be in French only. I daresay that will mean a lot of extra breadcrusts thrown to them by law-abiding unilingual tourists who haven’t got a clue what “Défendu de nourrir les canards” means.

The ominous rigidity and totalitarian attention to detail of the Office reminds one of the soulless Inspector Javert in Les Misérables. Javert is so consumed by his obsession with the law that he has forgotten what it is to be a human being. And we all know what happened to the Inspector. Unable to reconcile the fact that there are times in life when compassion, human fellowship and morality conflict with the Law, he committed suicide.

Read Barbara Kay’s Full Comment.