The year 2013 has finally passed! We could not be happier considering the preposterous events that brought Quebec to the forefront of international attention for all the wrong reasons. Montreal (its community, culture and economy), has definitely seen better times. Not only have we yet to recover from a sluggish economy and a deep-seated culture of corruption in the construction industry, but our city’s reputation was tarnished due to lack of common sense from civil servants and proposed government legislation that go against the grain of the city’s identity.
There were more than enough unfortunate and embarrassing events that left Montrealers with a serious distaste for politics in 2013. While it would require more time and bandwidth to highlight all of them here, we decided to pick several that stood out as reasons why Montrealers never want to see or experience some of the year that was.
The Not-So-Mysterious Case of Pastagate
In February 2013, upscale Italian restaurant Buonanotte made international headlines due to one angry, insecure patron and an overzealous inspector of the Office québécois de la langue française. The restaurant received a letter from the OQLF warning that use of words like “pasta” and “calamari” on its menu violated the language laws of Quebec. The nitpicking over the lack of French-equivalent words on the menu gave Montreal and the province much more attention than it needed. It drew international media attention from 14 countries.
The story certainly didn’t gain as much worldwide attention as the notorious Mayor Rob Ford; however, it was a stain on the reputation of the city of Montreal and a lesson in poor public relations for Quebec. Among the media channels showing us as a laughing stock to the world were the [...]