From The Gazette


Pointe Claire bakery-deli responds to language police with pasta salad Marois

Henri Schick, a Pointe-Claire delicatessen owner, says if the past week has taught him anything it’s that if the Office québécois de la langue française issues you a complaint, it’s time to get cooking.

And that’s how Pasta salad Marois, a macaroni salad made with elbow noodles, carrot shreds and mayonnaise, came to be on the menu at Swiss Vienna Pastry and Delicatessen at Plaza Pointe-Claire.

The latest language tensions are no laughing matter, but Schick said, he thought some comic relief was in order after last week’s dust-up at Buonanotte, the Montreal Italian restaurant singled out for using the Italian word ‘pasta’ on its menu.

“I decided I might as well have some fun,” said Schick, as he wiped his hands on his apron while standing at the shop’s counter on Tuesday. “I took the macaroni salad and renamed it.”

It’s not a runaway bestseller, he said, but at $10.90 a kilogram, the cheapest item in the salad bar is putting a smile on the faces of his mainly English-speaking customers.

A Facebook post featuring a picture of the salad with the cutline, “This one’s for you Pauline Marois,” has wracked up 7,000 hits since Monday afternoon and, he added, the post is sparking lively chatter.

“Hard to digest,” wrote one Facebook fan. “Hope nobody gags,” added another.

Schick said it has all made it easier for him to deal with his own frustrations with Quebec’s language police.

In early January, he said, the bakery-delicatessen business his family has operated in the Pointe-Claire strip mall for the past 50 years, received a complaint of its own from the OQLF — not its first.

The complaint now posted in the storefront window outlines the numerous ways the business is violating Quebec’s French language charter.

Among the offences:

In-store signs advertising Russian rye and Canadian rye.

The word “welcome” written in 35 different languages in the storefront window.

Stickers reading “enter,” “push” and “pull” on doors.

Some French words less than twice as large as English words on some store signs.

Schick said he has no plans to do anything to the signs in his store and adds he doubts that anyone even made a complaint. He said he would like to see the Office forced to publicly name complainants.

“It’s like 1976 all over again; a witchhunt,” said Schick. “All my signs are bilingual,” he said. “My beef is they just want us to wipe out the English.”

Twitter: cornacchiaGAZ

 To read Brenda O’Farrell’s blog on this topic, click here.


  1. Pauline Marois and the OQLF could use some help.. Mr. Henri Schick has run a shop that was started by his parents for as long as I can remember, it makes money serves the community well and is a Model…. in ….. how to run a business .
    The ongoing issues have driven people to pack-up and move from Quebec, but the hard core Montreal Canadain’s have hung in . The issue with Pasta hit the news world wide, rendering the OQFL Idiots !! What a waste of our tax dollars and time and emotions !! Stand up for your rights .. My Fathers Father did ..and that’s why were both here Henri !! Never Forget !

    On a Good Note : I have 1 good cigar left and im going to enjoy it !!

  2. By Wendy Ramsey

    It was a laugh the first time maybe but now it’s beyond absurd. These separatist militants are well out of control and are just becoming crazy. I used to think perhaps when they were assured that no one was trying to take away their right to communicate in their own language, they would relax and just enjoy life but no – they have to keep pushing and pushing their bigoted views on everyone that is not pur laine francophone. This must end or civil unrest will be caused by the never ending, relentless ethnic cleansing tactics used by the militants in this province. Rights and freedoms for all citizens of Quebec and no more of these on-going trouble making groups that are now in control of our province. No more language police, no more talk of separation, no more PQ government, out with all of it so we can return to a normal life in this province.

  3. By Anne Samuel

    I am beyond being fed up with the PQ and their antics!!!. I applaud Mr Schick’s determination and courage . We need more people like him. Congratulations Mr Schick!! you have our support!!!!

  4. By Teresa Poce

    Congratulations to Mr Schick for standing up to this stupidity. Let us keep in mind that the (office of the french language), is paid by our tax dollars, Anglo and other. La Reine Marois needs a reality check.We are the population that has made a difference in Quebec, creating jobs, opportunities and growth. We have been able to assimilate into the Canadian Society and still keep our Language and Culture. La Reine Marois really needs a reality check and should focus her very ineffective government to promote Quebec as it should be, a Province in Canada that offers a diverse culture, a province that can attract new business, develop current business relationships, create jobs and finally we can grow into our true potential. Instead she has the audacity to attack entrepreneurs on such trivia this is mind boggling. Thank you Mr Schick for standing your ground. you have my support with your PASTA MAROIS!!!!!!!!

  5. HAHA:) Love the pasta thing:) The sign on the window does say Welcome in many languages but in Russian it says “good morning”, actually;) But that’s fine I don’t mind and I’m happy to see many languages represented. It’s lovely and diverse and this shop makes wonderful cakes, too!

  6. By Infotrad

    The problem is that “Pasta Salad Marois” is neither English or French, if one goes by its syntax. I suggest that he at least decide on a language beforehad.

  7. Good for you !!! I live in Mascouche and I will be visiting your pastry shop in support of your stand against the language police. Bravo for standing up for everyone’s rights.

  8. I am so very proud of you Mr.Schick.I will never ever give in to M.Marois. This $28million/yr spent on some little twerp called a language :cop: going around harassing people is childish and nobody should even talk to them…IGNORE them.Marois and her separatists have destroyed this province which was built on the backs of Irish,Scottish and Native’s backs.What she is doing is ethnic cleansing.Be brave and fight back.Never ever give in to this crap. Keep up the good work Mr.Schick and be strong.

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