Businesses in Quebec must obey the province’s language laws when they
advertise on the Internet to ensure that French-speaking consumers are
properly served, according to the province’s culture minister.
“I think the laws of the land apply,” Louise Beaudoin was quoted as saying by Reuters. “I know it’s a big debate but that’s what the government thinks right now.”
The language laws say commercial signs must be in French, with English also
allowed only if French is predominant. Quebec says it has received legal
advice that it is on solid ground in extending its legislation to commercial
advertising on the Internet.
A Montreal-area computer store, Micro-Bytes Logiciels, was ordered last year
to translate its English-only Internet site into French. More than 80 percent
of Quebec’s 7 million people speak French as their first language.