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Things apparently arn't like they used to be but commas can get a store in a lot of trouble in Quebec.
Language in Canada is the responsibilty of the federal government and is defined nationally by the Official Languages Act and is part of the Canadian Constitution. The Supreme Court of Canada has made rulings with respect to the Quebec Charter. Because of this, some of the Charter's articles have been changed since its introduction in 1977. The most well-known and controversial change affected the regulation of exterior commercial signs. In its first enactment the Charter made it illegal for businesses to hold commercial exterior signs in a language other than French. For the time the regulation lasted, it had a huge impact on Quebec's "linguistic visage". English-only and bilingual English and French exterior signs were taken down and replaced by French-only signs. (Note that the regulation did not affect trademarks.)
Following a court challenge, this section of the law was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in 1988, (see: Ford v. Quebec (A.G.)). The Supreme Court ruled that the Quebec government could legitimately require that French have "greater visibility" or "marked predominance" on exterior commercial signs; however, it could not enforce the exclusive use of French. The Liberal government of Robert Bourassa invoked the notwithstanding clause of the Constitution to temporarily overrule the Supreme court ruling; the Charter was subsequently amended by the Liberals in 1993 with Bill 86 in accordance with the ruling.
As suggested by the Supreme Court ruling, the current law specifies that commercial outdoor signs can be multilingual so long as French is markedly predominant. The current provisions regarding exterior commercial signs were confirmed as constitutional by the Quebec Court of Appeal in R. c. Entreprises W.F.H.  R.J.Q. 2557 (C.A.) (also known as "The Lyon & the Walrus Case"). Today, many businesses choose to put up French-only signs, and at times, even change their registered trademarks to adapt to the Quebec market. Nevertheless, Englishâ€“French bilingualism quickly returned on exterior signs after 1993, especially on Montreal Island (which has a 53/29/18 Francophone/Allophone/Anglophone split).
The United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in relation to McIntyre v. Canada, found that the Charter of the French language is in violation of international agreements regarding civil and political rights (ICCPR art. 19 (2) Freedom of expression). "A State may choose one or more official languages," the UNHRC committee wrote, "but it may not exclude outside the spheres of public life, the freedom to express oneself in a certain language."
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jamie: 28th Oct 2006 - 22:25 GMT
damn frenchys with their speaking french and, you know, french stuff. fuck em.
Sébastien: 22nd Jan 2007 - 14:42 GMT
I'm from Montréal, i'm french canadian and proud of it. I'm aigainst this act because I think that it's a violation of the Human rights. Imagine changing stores name from Best Buy to "Meilleure Achat" or Second Cup to "Deuxième tasse".
But, I would like more respect from people like Jamie...
Brandon: 9th May 2007 - 14:02 GMT
Ok, here this, im 19. i lived in montreal my whole life, and i dont no how to speck french. Montreal you dont have to no how to speck french everyone specks french or english :P
celeste: 19th Jun 2007 - 04:25 GMT
yeah, or "you don't have to no how to speck french"...
Jessica: 6th Mar 2010 - 12:17 GMT
Celeste, you should capitalise your I's, the E in English, and the first letters of each of your sentences. Also, use three dots. "..." instead of "....". It would also look good for you to capitlise the first letter of your name. "Apparently" would also show that you are stating a fact, not asking a question, thus needing a period rather than a question mark. I get the feeling that you didn't check your post very carefully for mistakes. =( Oh, but I'm sure you can imagine by now the frustration I feel when I read the other posts.
Before anyone corrects "capitalise," that's a British variant of "capitalize," and we spell using British English in Canada.
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