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Mandating english

The city could pass a bylaw requiring English or French on signs and theoretically have it go unchallenged.

But Brodie, a lawyer by practice, said he would anticipate a challenge.

The court accepted expert opinions that that "the bylaw indicates that the French language has value in the community outside of schools and family life." In other words, as Carter noted, the court ruled the bylaw addressed the social welfare of the township. She did not mention how Richmond's case is different in so much that the city is dealing with a non-official language.

Carter said more analysis would be required to determine whether a B. Of course, these legal questions would only arise should they be challenged in court.

She said the Supreme Court of Canada would be more likely to restrict freedom of expression if the city engaged in public consultation to determine the scope of the issue, if there was one to be found.

Notably, the study didn’t indicate the size and context of the signs.

At issue are non-Chinese-speakers, including Chinese-Canadians, feeling like Richmond, or at least a large portion of north Richmond, is exclusionary. Evelina Halsey-Brandt, who requested a motion last week at city council to investigate the legalities of enforcing some form of English (or French, presumably) on signs that fall under the existing sign regulation bylaw. There’s a segment of the population feeling disenfranchised,” she added.

A businessman wanting to put up English-only signs had challenged the township.

The court ruled the bylaw violated the man's Charter rights.


  1. Is mandating private business owners to put some English on their signs a reasonable and proportional limit to their right to freedom of expression under Canada's.

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