Liberals' changes to store name rules not enough, say opposition
For the Liberals, this week's announcement that they will crack down on stores with English trademark names was a victory for Quebec and a clear sign the government is protecting and promoting the French language. However, the opposition parties don’t see it that way. Both parties say the new rules are too weak.
Quebec's new regulations will force big box retailers with English trademark names to add more French to their storefronts. They can do this by adding a slogan or a description of their products and services. It’s a way, the Liberals say, to ensure the presence of the French language across Quebec.
“It's just to be respectful of Quebec people and of the official language,” said French Language Minister Hélène David.
But the English trademarks themselves are still protected under the province's own language laws, so for the CAQ, the new rules don't go far enough.
“We're not asking Costco to change its name or for Old Navy to be called Vieux Marine, but at least to say Vetements Old Navy or Entrepot Costco,” said Claire Samson, CAQ language critic.
The PQ has issued a statement calling the Liberal move "too little, too late." That party says it's time to update Bill 101. The CAQ agrees reopening the language charter could be an option, but says the issue shouldn't be tied up in language divisions of the past.
“Years ago, the status of the language was very much tied to the separatist movement -- which should not be the case. At the CAQ we're not separatists. We believe we could properly govern Quebec within Canada,” Samson said.