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.