Quebec will oblige English stores to add French descriptors
It's official: the Couillard government will tighten Bill 101.
The Liberal government will introduce legislation forcing retailers to add French descriptions to the logos and signs along with their commercial trademark English names. The descriptors would offer an explanation or generic term to reflect what is being sold.
In April, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled that Bill 101, as it's written, does not force companies such as Best Buy, Old Navy and Costco to add French to their trademark signs.
In a statement released Wednesday, Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée said there won't be an appeal of that decision.
Quebec, however, said it's also not backing down.
Culture Minister Helene David said the amendments to existing regulations will be introduced this fall and hopefully will be in place by 2016.
The regulation won’t force chain stores to translate or offer French versions their names, as some businesses have done so themselves, such as Staples/Bureau en Gros.
The regulation will ask them to add a French description, however. Best Buy, for example, would add “electronics” to its description.
The Couillard government said it intends to be flexible when it comes to asking businesses to add French to signs.
Financial aid to change signs is even being considered, said David.
“This is an option we will look at. We will see what the financial implications are, if we ask them to change their signs. We are not there yet. It depends on the transition period,” she said.
The Retail Council of Canada said it wants to wait and see what Quebec's requirements will be, but has been fighting the issue since 2012 and was ready to take the matter to the Supreme Court.
With files from The Canadian Press