[lg policy] Canada: Dieppe sign language policy tops agenda

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 12 14:55:01 UTC 2010

Dieppe sign language policy tops agenda
Published Monday November 9th, 2009

Years of grappling with the issue of unilingual-English commercial
signage in majority-French Dieppe will come to a head tonight when
Dieppe City Council meets. The pivotal debate during tonight's regular
council session will be the unveiling of a proposed city policy on the
language that appears on commercial signage in Dieppe, which prides
itself on being the world's largest Acadian city.

Surveys of merchants in Dieppe consistently show that more than
two-thirds erect their signs in English only. For more than a decade,
the city has grappled with the question of whether a municipality that
makes every effort to be the largest city in the province that
operates officially in the French language while assuring service in
English to those who want it should regulate the language on signs
that are erected by private businesses; whether they should simply
continue their current program that gently reminds merchants that 85
per cent of Dieppe residents, and thus their clients, cite French as
their mother tongue; or whether there is some middle ground where they
can exert even more influence on merchants' choice of sign language to
better serve their French-speaking customers and make mother-tongue
French residents feel even more at home in Dieppe.

A council committee has examined the issue for more than a year and
will present their report to council when they meet at 7 p.m. in
council chambers. All residents are invited. Simultaneous translation
will be provided. Council will have the option of either accepting the
committee's recommendations outright, reject them wholesale or to
offer amendments to the proposed policy.


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