All business signs in the province of Quebec must be in French.

If the business operator wishes to have English on the sign, the French must be at least twice as large as the English is. There are no laws governing the usage of other languages on signs. -Bill 101 (Passed 1976)

  • Keith Conroy

    Again, I fail to see how this stupid. It’s about the survival of a relatively small French culture in a sea of Canadian & North American English culture. Maybe when you are part of the majority culture, it’s difficult to see this.

  • Karla

    It IS stupid, not to mention a violation of our basic rights. Apparently, freedom of choice does not exist in Quebec. The truth is, I have no problem with Quebec wanting to preserve the French language. By all means, go ahead and preserve it. But here’s an idea… How about THEY (the French people in Quebec) preserve their OWN language…by speaking french in their house and running THEIR business in french. Why must I, an English person, be forced to preserve it for them? It’s ridiculous. If I’m opening a business with MY money, and running it with MY money, I should be able to have English only signs if I darn well want to.

  • Bec

    Nothing stupid about this law.

  • Tasha

    What makes this law .. funny if not stupid.. is you go to chinatown in montreal and there is no english signage, no french signage.. but plenty o chinese signage

  • Cody

    This law is indeed very stupid.

  • Jenna

    I find this law not stupid. Mostly because it was most likely pasted to stop the French in Canada from rooting and revolting. Because that almost happened. They kidnapped some people in office ( one is dead) and had mailbox explosives. I learned about this in my Canadian History class, which we take, here in Canada.

  • tom

    i’m a half english- half-quebecois young adult, and though this law DOES make sense in some ways, its stupid in others, for example: it makes sense to try to preserve the language, im all for it, im perfectly bilingual, how ever, it’s stupid to have language police, its a waste of taxpayer money.

  • Brittany

    This law actually doesn’t exist anymore, they tried to do it but then there was a huge fuss about it and the federal government killed it. Signs in Quebec do have to be in both English and French but it was a law for a short period of time.

  • tom

    it’s still a law, enforced by the OLF( officiers de la langue francaise) however, parts of it were called unconstitutional. this is just one small part of bill 101

  • Mike

    I go to Parc safari and not one english sign. Didnt know what half the animals were.

  • To Mike

    Quick note Mike, if it’s tall and has a long neck, I would say Giraffe, It’s really hard to tell an animal when thre aren’t any signs

  • j

    As an english Canadian who lives and does business exclusively in Quebec, I do not like this law. It is simple discrimination. Its a hidden tax on people that want to do business in their language of choice. Many areas in Montreal are almost exclusively English and businesses in these areas should have the right to target their customers.
    You think that Spanish is dying in Miami because people put up English signs? Of course not! Did New Yorkers start speaking Mandarin because many restaurants in China Town don’t have english translations? If Quebecois culture isn’t strong enough to endure in the face of English culture, then let it die. I’ve been to a dozen countries where english signs are everywhere yet the people haven’t stopped speaking their native language. A few signs won’t kill french, if Quebecois even is french.
    Paranoia about language has turned the Quebecois into a bunch of racist fascists. You think I appreciate having my rights infringed upon to protect another’s? We are supposed to live in a bilingual country with equal rights for all. Why the hell should french people have more rights than me?

  • Donna

    yes it is a stupid law, as a matter of fact IT IS NOT!!! A LAW it was voided in 1988, only the province thinks it can still push it through by having these language police…guess what, this will now be brought the attention of the Government of Canada…i damn near was in 3 accidents in the province of Quebec 2 weeks ago…why? because all of the damn construction signs were in French.

    And Keith Connroy, English speaking Canada is now the minority…because there are very few College and University programs that will except you if you do not have French on your credits…keep dreaming

  • Chris

    I 100% agree with Karla and I am fully bilingual, raised in French.

    The Minister of Education does incredibly stupid things that actually directly threaten the quality of French spoken and learned in schools.

    If they concentrated on that instead of stupidities like font size on signs or if your website is translated in French even if you don’t do any business in Quebec or if you have more than 25 employees in your building, they need to use French operating systems/software… and the list of idiocies goes on….

    And Donna, unfortunately it is still law in Quebec; we even have a growing division dedicated to the language police because those morons don’t understand where the problem lies and French as a language and culture is still dying despite all their efforts to squash those evil small businesses that dare to have English words noticeable on their buildings…

    The more bureaucratic the place, the more ‘slow’ it gets and Quebec is king where bureaucracy is concerned. Short bus anyone?

  • Jim

    Chris,

    It’s nice to see evidence that there are rational Québécois. Unfortunately, I suspect you’re in the same situation we are in the US; strongly outnumbered and losing to the politically correct and simply stupid.

  • Jim

    Its not the law that’s stupid…it’s the québécois that are..what do you expect from a nation of inbred handicaps…we should put stupid on their for head and twice as big in French. Maybe then they will understand …talk about inferior human beings…a disgrace to man kind.

  • Jim

    Too bad they fail to remember where in CANADA!!!!!!!! Oooohhh that they forget…..there brains are clogged with pouting cheese and gravy … I hope the rest of them choke and die on one… Maybe then we can do something productive with the land and the air that they waste by breathing it!!!!

  • BC

    Not Stupid. First, Quebec is a french province, like other provinces are english or bilingual int he case of NB… Has nothing to do with your tax money if you don’t live in Quebec. Second, I live in BC where there are no such laws. As a consequence, in some parts of Vancouver, I can’t understand what the signs say because they are in Chinese or Korean. Sucks that business don’t have to use english. I understand why the Quebecois want to reinforce that law. Third, they are protecting their language, which is an important part of the history and culture of Canada. To finish, JIM you are an idiot!

  • Anthony

    This is such a stupid law. As an English person in Quebec, it feels as if the government wants to completely exterminate the English population from Quebec. This law has already had consequences, but one day the English population will have enough!

  • Jim

    If this law is stupid, then all laws protecting culture are. What do you think? Quebecers will let their roots die an get assimilated? No way! We have a great peace of land with a lot of history. The oldest city in north america is Quebec… I feel bad for those who dont understand that. No wonder natives of america are pissed.

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  • Sky

    This is why Quebec should separate from the rest of Canada.

  • Wesley

    Its funny how so many here say well its to protect their culture, they have every right to do it. Caucasians are becoming a minority in North America, how do you think it would be received if politicians enacted laws limiting blacks, Asians, or other ethic groups from advertising their business, how to communicate in public, what schools your children can attend, as well as discriminatory school taxing policies? It would be seen as absurd, racist, and a complete violation of their human rights. In quebec, its all good. I have nothing wrong with trying to preserve the French culture (should be like most other provinces and have everything bilingual) it isn’t preserving a culture by shoving it down peoples throats. “It wasn’t genocide what happened to the natives; it was merely white Europeans preserving their culture in North America.”

  • Matt

    I think the most intelligent and compose comment is BC.
    And for the one who say that is racism, make some little researches on anti-francophones laws in Canada like:
    Bill 17 in Ontario (1916): who prohibit french in schools.
    Official Language Act in Manitoba (1890): who ban french from all the governemental structure.
    Alberta School Act (1905) and School Act (Saskatchewan-1909): Laws who ban french from all school, and KKK campaigned against french in these provinces.
    AND
    You have the «One Country, One Flag, One Language» in USA.
    So now, for ones who say that qubecers are racist, read well your history book!

  • Anon

    To the people arguing that this is stupid;
    For starters, Quebec is highly populated with French speakers. The reason for this is because the French were the first Europeans to settle Canada. Meaning many people still speak French. I don’t know what to say about the part where it has to be twice the size of the English writing, but I get the French part. It’s a respect thing for the original culture.

    I may not be completely right on all my facts, and I know that. I live in Texas, but my ancestry is French, (The ones that went to Canada then Louisiana), and my mum’s been to Canada.

  • Charlie

    It’s not stupid. You don’t know how it feels to have your language endangered, your 7 million people drown into a 400 million english people baths. And if we loose our language, we will slowly start to loose everything about our culture, because people will start to watch American shows like in the ROC, since the medias control the vast majority of the people, and the only thing that’ll remain will be monuments for tourists. Beside, it’s not racist at all, but some have explained why before me. Most people who say it is racist can’t even explain why and just bitch. Also, I’d like to make a big F*CK YOU to the guy that hopes I choke (A Jim)and to say to another Jim (If it isn’t the same) that there’s no link between the fact that Quebec is the oldest city in North America and our assimilation.

  • Sarali

    this is not stupid….
    We’re mostly french speaker and most of us DOESNT SPEAK ENGLISH AT ALL.

    So we are about 5 millions french speakers drown into 350 millions anglophone…

  • Autumn

    If you think this law’s stupid, then you know nothing of Quebec’s history and why laws like this have been necessary.

  • Nigga

    U GUYS ARE STUPID BECAUSE PAULINE MAROIS IS LIKE A GIRL FORM OF HITLER SHES GONNA TRY TO KILL EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD THAT SPEEKS ENGLISH OR ANY OTHER GOD DAMN THING YALL NIGGAS NEED CHICKEN

  • Dominic

    C’mon guys, the laws itself is ok. The funny part is the last sentence ”There are no laws governing the usage of other languages on signs. -Bill 101 (Passed 1976)”
    So you can use any others languages twice as large as the french but not the english. That’s stupid.

  • paris83

    I like this law… I lived in a small town in Ontario were 90% of us was french but all the signs were english.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    This mixes up so many things it’s funny. The law states that signs must have french as te dominant language, since french is the only official language of Quebec, but any other language can also be on it. Exceptions can be made in areas for some reasons, like in Montreal’s China Town, where signs are all in Chinese – for some reason, no one else beside them asked for that exemption. That law is still in vigor today, as Canada’s Supreme Court found it reasonable once a few changes were made (as an example, at first it was only french on signs, supreme court said it’d be OK if it was dominant french but other languages were allowed, and the Quebec government accepted that proposed change). Bill 101 is considered exemplary and was the base for similar language policies throughout the world.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    In case you didn’t know, there were many attempts by the UK and later Canada’s government to eradicate the french language from North America. That law was made to protect Quebec’s from those attacks. Considering that, just 20 years prior to that law, many towns and cities in Quebec forbid French-Canadians from even going downtown and that they were commonly told to “Speak White”, as they were called America’s White Niggers, such laws are quite understandable.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    That’s because the Bill makers made an exemption procedure, which Chinatown was the only group to ever use – others preferred bickering to it.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Except it’s not true, no matter the language used, french must be as important on the sign at least. A community can ask for an exception within a limited area, but Montreal’s China town was the only one to ever use it.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Considering that the said English community used to see French-Canadians as sub-human servants, telling them to “speak white” and calling them the white niggers of America, they should be happy to be so well-treated. French minorities in the rest of Canada aren’t nearly treated so well.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Bill 101 was never voided, you should read Wikipedia before spouting falsehoods.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Actually they don’t have to be in English, as French is the sole official language in Quebec. They can be in both languages as long as french is dominant on the said sign, but in most of Quebec, signs are only in French.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Fun fact, once the group that put bombs in mailboxes stopped doing it, the RCMP started putting bombs in their stead to keep their budget, which the federal government was aboutt o slash. That became public because the RCMP officer who did it blew a few of his fingers off while installing one such bomb.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Considering that Canada’s federal government tried to flood Quebec with English-speaking immigrants for a long time to reduce the importance of French in Canada, they had to make such laws to ensure that such plans didn’t come to fruition. Also, Quebec’s Bill of Rights take into account not only individual rights, but also collective rights, like the right to live in french and not to be discriminated against because of it.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Actually, that law has exceptions for Native American communities, as it recognizes their right to have signs, schools and whatever else they want in their own language. Historical English-speaking communities can also attend public school in English, and signs can have any language on them, as long as French is also there and is as large on it as other languages. Also, languages can be learned, unlike ethnic particularities, which makes your comparison with Black and Asian people totally unfounded. Actually, Bill 101 is considered exemplary in the world and is the base of many contemporary language laws in post-colonial states.

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Fun Fact: the word “Canadian” used to refer solely to French-speaking people living in Canada and is a Native American word. English-Canadians only started to call themselves as such much later (and they didn’t bother to learn French or Native American languages either).

  • Marc-Olivier Dumont

    Aaaaand that’s exactly why Quebec had to vote such laws – to protect themselves from people who considered them and their language sub-human (or should I say sub-WASP?)

  • Victoria

    my mother language is french and i speak english better than you. your argument is irelevant (in fact you don’t have one at all). that was a particularly racist comment.

  • Victoria

    I believe Jews during WWII had to face horrifyingly similar treatments.

  • Victoria

    You can have any language you want on your goddam signs as long as french is also there… I fail to see how it’s depreiving your rights. Not allowing french signs would be more discriminatory and ”colonialist” since the vaste majority of the population is french-speaking.

  • Jared Henry

    As a Canadian I just want all Quebecers to know… this is why we don’t like you!

  • WhoKnew

    It is all good to protect our language but it is not fair to force it down others throats what if all the other provinces banned together against the french language would that be right? Or even if it was only one would you be happy with that? Try to put your pride aside while looking at the law, I understand if you are to stubborn to try.

  • JaY

    It’s economically damaging to the province of Quebec. The rest of Canada
    has nice roads and bilingual signs on highways. Entering la belle province you get french only signs and shitty roads….why? Because our money is put towards stupid bill 101. At the same time a shitload of tourists avoid our province because it’s not accomodating and inviting. I’ve met servers and people
    That work in the Quebec tourism industry that EXPECT tourists to know and speak to them in French. WTF. Economically Quebec is shit if it weren’t for the aboriginals’ lands up north. Quebec has to take a few steps back and reconsider these kind of laws that fault our economy and substantially its’ own future and people.

  • Steve

    Actually in Ontario it is mandatory to learn French from Gr. 4 up to Gr. 9, all respect to french language, but think before you speak.