English-only job postings at Davie shipyard lead to calls for government action

Quebec’s opposition parties are calling on the government to take action to ensure the Davie shipyard near Quebec City conforms with the province’s language laws.

PQ, CAQ say company should be forced to comply with Bill 101 given prior complaints

The Davie shipyard is located in Lévis, Qué., across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec's opposition parties are calling on the government to take action to ensure the Davie shipyard near Quebec City conforms with the province's language laws.

The calls follow reports that job openings for managers and professional employees at the shipyard in Lévis, Que., were posted in English only, and many of the positions advertised did not require the candidates to be fluent in French.

The company said the postings were a mistake, but acknowledged that finding qualified French-speaking employees was a challenge.

Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau disputed that claim.

"It's totally unacceptable," he said. "I'm convinced there are just as many French-speaking men and women who want to work at the shipyard," he said.

Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault echoed Péladeau, pointing to the company's location in Lévis —just across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City.

"It's unacceptable that a company situated right next to here recruits in English only," he said.

Legault also noted that it's not the first time the shipyard has run afoul of Quebec's language charter, known as Bill 101.

Since 2014, a union representing Davie employees has filed a number of complaints with the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), the agency that enforces Quebec's language laws. The union's complaints state that English is the dominant workplace language at the shipyard.

Representatives of the OQLF were scheduled to meet with the shipyard's management on Wednesday.

The OQLF has given the company until May to bring its practices into line with the law.