13 May 2016

Dan Delmar: Quebec Liberals add to irrational language laws

When it’s estimated that over half of Quebecers struggle with literacy issues and new media are dominated by English-language content, the need for strengthening the French language shouldn’t be debatable; how to achieve tangible results for francophones, however, is.
Culture Minister Hélène David announced on Tuesday that modifications in Quebec language law would force companies whose trademarked English names are protected to add French elements to their facades in the form of a descriptor, slogan or advertisement that communicates some form of commercial message.
These are measures that are already adopted by the overwhelming majority of Quebec retailers, making the new regulations redundant at best. While it would be advisable for any Quebec business to communicate to its clients in French, it should not be the government’s role to dictate to entrepreneurs in the private sector how to go about doing that (the presence of the French language in the public sector has been, and should continue to be, protected by law).

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