Commercial signs in the city of Dieppe, New Brunswick, may become bilingual

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Right next to the city of Moncton, New Brunswick, is a city called Dieppe with a population of 18 565, that is considering a bylaw to make commercial signs bilingual. First the location of the city:


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The reason for the proposed bylaw is that the city itself is about 75% francophone (Acadian), so only 23% of the city's inhabitants speak English as their mother tongue and yet thus far street signs have only been in English. Moncton next door is 64% English, 33% French. The proposed bylaw was announced after 4,000 signatures had been gathered to support the motion which is equivalent to one quarter of the adult population, or one third of the adult population with French as a mother tongue in the city.

The city already has a fair amount of French-language content in other areas such is their website, which can be seen here in English and here in French.

The comments below the article in CBC are nearly all opposed to the proposed bylaw and are largely voted up by other users; on the same article in French on Radio Canada they're nearly all for it and are also being voted up. The largest complaint in English is that the law wouldn't technically legislate bilingual signs but rather requires signs to be either in French alone or French and English. It's doubtful though that it would result in a lot of French-only signs since businesses are more concerned about their bottom line and won't one day suddenly decide that now that the law is in force they will simply abandon the English the majority of them have been using in their signage until now.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, um if we use your logic that the "French only" clause in this new bylaw would not result in French only signs because it would hurt the bottom line of the businesses, then why was this not the case prior to this bylaw? Why, before this bylaw, did all businesses in Dieppe not switch their signs to bilingual if they feared losing the supposed 75% of the population who wanted bilingual signs? Because it did not matter to the majority - French or English!
Your math is also wrong - 75% of Dieppe is francophone and the remaining 25% (not 23%) is anglophone. Dieppe's own web site states this, too. To oppress either of Canada's two official languages in law is a violation of the rights of those you oppress.... This is Canada and not a third world dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and this bylaw has nothing to do with street signs - it is only for commercial signs. It is best to ensure accuracy prior to forming opinion.

Anonymous said...

There is no equity in a bylaw that discourages the use of one of Canada's official languages. I am against any form of sign laws. Business owners should be able to operate in any language they choose. Secondly bilingual sign laws will increase the demand for bilingual workers, which decreases employment opportunities for unilingual anglophones and other bilingual minorities who do not use French as a second language. Third exterior bilingual or French only sign laws as Dieppe proposes will eventually branch off into interior sign laws, then perhaps even French only as the language of work. The federal government limits advancement for unilingual anglophones and other who do not speak French so it is easy to see what will happen in the private sector if the official languages Act is brought into it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, um if we use your logic that the "French only" clause in this new bylaw would not result in French only signs because it would hurt the bottom line of the businesses, then why was this not the case prior to this bylaw? Why, before this bylaw, did all businesses in Dieppe not switch their signs to bilingual if they feared losing the supposed 75% of the population who wanted bilingual signs? Because it did not matter to the majority - French or English!
Your math is also wrong - 75% of Dieppe is francophone and the remaining 25% (not 23%) is anglophone. Dieppe's own web site states this, too. To oppress either of Canada's two official languages in law is a violation of the rights of those you oppress.... This is Canada and not a third world dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and this bylaw has nothing to do with street signs - it is only for commercial signs. It is best to ensure accuracy prior to forming opinion.

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