French vs English

Is bilingualism worth tearing a town apart?

Apparently it is. In the small Ontario town of Russell, the council decided to pass a new bylaw that states all new businesses must have signs that are in both French and English. As soon as it passed, a resident named Howard Galganov said he was going to take the township to court, even if it means all the way to the Supreme Court.

Some of the businesses are upset because they figure if they offer a sign in French, but don’t have an employee that speaks French, that will make the customer upset. Others are upset because it’s only new businesses that have to offer it, which means the bylaw isn’t equal for all. And some others are upset because nearby French towns don’t necessarily offer signs in English.

Although it’s been around for decades, it seems as everything has reached a boiling point since the 1995 referendum. Some people from Quebec feel like their language and culture isn’t deemed important by English-speaking Canadians. Some English Canadians feel like the Quebec language and culture get too many benefits as it is.

Now it’s affecting small towns in Ontario, and will surely spread over time.

It’s a shame that in a country as big as Canada, two sides can’t find room for one another.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “French vs English

  1. A Bit Of Everything Sports

    Language laws are never equal and never will be. Some people will always fight one way or another for change or the status quo. Are they just business signs that are affected or street signs as well. It is more important for safety to have the bi-lingual signs in the streets, but as for Open and Closed on a storefront it probably isn’t and shouldn’t be as big a deal.

  2. Jonathan

    I am championing that all other provinces adopt the text of Bill 101, changing the words “French Language” for “English Language”. I mean if legalized racism is good for Quebec, how could it not be good for the rest of Canada to protect the English language by codifying into law the discrimination of the French Language? Just as English is currently discriminated against in Quebec.

    How could any separatist not agree with this?

    Just as the English language is under no threat in the ROC, the French language is under no threat in Quebec.

    French has been spoken here in Quebec for 400 years, and it will continue.

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