SAISIE À SHAWVILLE

SAISIE à SHAWVILLE
Ce que certains extrémistes sont prêts à faire plutôt que de respecter les
lois québécoises et les droits linguistiques des francophones.

(Le texte suivant provient de la Presse canadienne)

Un citoyen de Shawville se fait saisir des biens pour amende impayée à la «
police de la langue »

Un citoyen de la localité de Shawville dans le Pontiac, s’est fait saisir
pour 60 000 $ de biens pour ne pas avoir payé une amende de 920 $ à la
Commission de la protection de la langue française.

En décembre 1998, Bill McCleary et un partenaire d’affaires, Lee Laframboise,
louaient alors un édifice pour y implanter une station-service Petro-Canada. Or,
des lettres d’affichage en anglais étaient plus grandes que celles en français.

M. McCleary a reçu des avis d’amendes, mais il ne les a pas payées ; puis, il
a chassé un inspecteur venu saisir deux véhicules à son commerce. Son adversité
a reçu l’appui, notamment, du maire de Shawville, Albert Armstrong.

Il a ensuite soumis son dossier à Alliance Québec, dont le président, Brent
Tyler, est devenu son avocat.

M. Tyler, qui a essuyé un revers en Cour suprême du Canada dans sa
contestation des lois linguistiques québécoises, porte maintenant la cause
linguistique des Anglo-Québécois devant les Nations unies.

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(Ce texte nous a été communiqué par notre correspondant M. Daniel Duclos le
16 juillet 2003)

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P.-S.
L’AMENDE AVAIT éTé PAYéE
Le commerçant de Shawville faisant l’objet d’une saisie pour violation des
droits linguistiques des francophones avait reconnu, quoiqu’en disent Quebec
Alliance et son président Brent Tyler, sa culpabilité comme en témoigne
l’article suivant en anglais extrait du Ottawa Citizen :

Clerical error ends language law fight
Shawville man won’t have to pay fine over English sign

Kevin Ritchie
The Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, July 17, 2003

A "clerical error" has abruptly ended the saga of a determined Shawville man
who refused to pay a fine for breaking Quebec’s language law.

Bill McCleary was charged in December 1998 by the Office québécois de la
langue française because two signs in a building he owned featured English-only
lettering and English lettering that was more prominent than its French version.

He was fined $920 but refused to pay it, so a bailiff for the provincial
court seized $60,000 of his assets — including his Mustang convertible, his
Chevy pickup truck and his snowmobile — to be auctioned off next week.

On Tuesday, Mr. McCleary received a note from the bailiff calling off the
auction.

"I’m not very happy after all this time," he said. "We were hoping to get the
publicity out of the auction to get the law changed."

The fine was paid in April 2002 by Mr. McCleary’s former partner and
brother-in-law, Lee Laframboise. In March 2002, a bailiff showed up at Mr.
Laframboise’s door with papers to seize his minivan and all-terrain vehicle. A
month later, Mr. Laframboise paid the fine because his wife felt intimidated and
stressed.

Together, Mr. McCleary and Mr. Laframboise owned the building that housed the
Petro-Canada gas station with the offending signs.

Court documents dated Aug. 30, 2002 show the men were co-accused on two
counts and incurred two fines.

"As it is a conjoined file, if one paid, then the second one is paid," said
Marc Legault, a fine collector at the provincial courthouse in Gatineau. "This
was a clerical error."

Mr. McCleary believed he and Mr. Laframboise had separate fines because both
men were issued two fines apiece. However their two fines — dated Aug. 8, 2001
— share matching case file numbers.

And despite Mr. Laframboise’s payment of $920, a bailiff continued to demand
a fine from Mr. McCleary and in June, seized his assets.

Mr. Legault said the court did not realize the mistake until Monday.

Mr. McCleary and his lawyer, Montreal English-language-rights advocate Brent
Tyler, were shocked to see their battle end on a technicality.

"They blinked," said Mr. Tyler. "This is being called off by the Attorney
General of Quebec because it would’ve embarrassed the government of Quebec."

He believes the court documents contradict the notices Mr. McCleary received
in the mail. "I could show you a number of other files where individuals are
under the same case file and charged separately," he said.

Mr. Tyler also represents 50 people in Montreal who are charged with language
infractions.

Alliance Quebec, Quebec’s English-language rights group, was planning to bid
on Mr. McCleary’s property and then host a barbecue party afterwards to return
it.

Alliance Quebec will still throw a party to show solidarity with the people
of Shawville, Mr. Tyler said.

But even if the court had not erred, the auction was doomed: The fine
would’ve been paid by a breakaway faction within Alliance Quebec.

In future attempts by Alliance Quebec to bid on the seized assets of citizens
who refuse to pay language fines, Giuliano D’Andrea, president of the East
Island Chapter of Alliance Quebec and an affiliated think-tank called Greater
Quebec Movement, said his group will step in, pay the fine, become the new
creditor and sue the debtor in small claims court.

Out of 3,600 complaints filed to the Office québécois de la langue française,
only 72 came from the Outaouais. The vast majority are made in Montreal, said
spokesman Gérald Paquette.

Unlike the rest of Quebec, most complaints in the Outaouais region are over
public signs.

Outside the Outaouais, cases are mostly about packaging, labels, brochures,
contracts and commercial documents.