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'Pastagate' official resigns in Quebec

March 9, 2013 at 2:04 AM

MONTREAL, March 9 (UPI) -- The head of the office that polices the French language in Quebec resigned Friday, battered by the "Pastagate" dispute over Italian restaurant menus.

Louise Marchand had been head of the Office Quebecois de la Langue Française since early 2011. She submitted her resignation Friday as Quebec Cultural Communities Minister Diane De Courcy announced plans to change the way the province enforces its language requirements, The (Montreal) Gazette reported.

The complaint by Massimo Lecas, co-owner of Buonanotte restaurant in Montreal, that he had been ordered to translate pasta and other Italian terms on the menu into French created a storm of bad publicity for the government. De Courcy ordered a review and a short report in February recommended the agency should work with business owners in a "collaborative" way instead of being an enforcer.

At a news conference in Montreal, De Courcy said the agency must be more "supple."

"We want to take advantage of this crisis to modernize the office," she said.

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