It was a quick vote, and the decision was unanimous.
"To offer [a] suggestion to change the character of a street name that's been there for 100 years is just not acceptable to us," said Beaconsfield Mayor Bob Benedetti.
Benedetti said the province's Office de la langue franÃ§aise (OLF) has been after the city before on the street-sign issue, and has already fined it $2,000 for having signs that don't conform to the province's Charter of the French Language.
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story ... d-olf.html
For the first time in 20 years, Montreal's Town of Mount Royal has French-only street signs after painting over the English words.
hat move came after a bitter dispute with the province's Office de la langue franÃ§aise (OLF).
All of which has left the mayor of the nearby bilingual municipality of CÃ´te Saint-Luc confused. He says he won't give in to pressure from the language police and can't figure out why Mount Royal backed down.
"It's absolutely baffling that they would remove the English language that is part of the history of Town of Mount Royal," said Mayor Anthony Housefather.
"I mean, I don't want to ascribe motives to a council, but it seems to me to be a very foolish thing to have done."
Housefather said bilingual municipalities have the right to put up bilingual signs, as long as the French portion is to the left or at the top of the sign.
French must predominate
He said CÃ´te Saint-Luc received the same warning as Mount Royal did from the OLF in 2002.
But the city refused to change, and it hasn't heard back from the language watchdog.
The OLF is also puzzled about Mount Royal's decision to paint over the English words. It thinks the city overacted.
"They could have erected these signs in both French and in English as long as the French is predominating," said OLF spokesman Gerald Paquette.
He said the city just needed to make some slight changes to the signs.
Signs did not comply
Mount Royal mayor Vera Danyluk says the language police have been hounding her city because the signs didn't comply with the Charter of the French Language.
Danyluk said the city was tired of fighting with the OLF, so it hired municipal workers to paint over the English words.
"Well, [it's] not that we threw in the towel," she said. "We feel that there are so many important things we should be doing in our municipality to improve the quality of life for our citizens."
Danyluk said the fight over the bilingual signs is petty and narrow-minded, and a waste of money.
However, the CÃ´te Saint-Luc mayor said covering up the English on street signs sends the wrong message to anglophone youth in the community.
Housefather said it's an issue that crosses municipal boundaries, and bilingual municipalities should stick together.
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story ... r-olf.html
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