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May 26th 2010

Michel Carrier reacts to adoption of Dieppe's commercial signage by-law

Fredericton, May 26th 2010 – The Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, Michel Carrier, believes that the Dieppe City Council has adopted a balanced commercial signage by-law. “The by-law ensures that French is given its rightful place, reflects the city’s Francophone character, and respects the principle of equality of our two official languages, declared the Commissioner.”

Michel Carrier noted that the Council made a wise decision by opting for bilingual signage while permitting unilingualism for cultural or educational reasons. “The approach chosen by the Council takes into account the fact that our two linguistic communities have organizations dedicated to social development that should not be forced to post signs in the other official language.”

This is the first time that a New Brunswick municipality has enacted rules governing the language of commercial signage. For the Commissioner, it is important that this by-law be recognized as a measure that fully complies with the principle of equality of the two linguistic communities. “What is happening in Dieppe is likely to influence other towns and cities in the province. That is why I am delighted with the content of this by-law.”

The Commissioner invites the province’s other municipalities to work with their business community and citizens to ensure that commercial signage reflects the values at the heart of the Official Languages Act. “A language’s vitality is closely associated with its place on the public stage,” Carrier concluded. “Commercial signage can and must contribute to the dynamism of our two official languages.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Hugues Beaulieu, Director of Public Affairs and Research, 506-444-4229