It only pisses me off when official language speaking citizens are excluded on the basis of not being of the culture whether it be an item on a menu or a sale on an item or service. These companies should be shut down for their disrespect of our society
It seems people have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the status of English as an official language means and how it relates to the constitutionally entrenched policy of multiculturalism. We should not force English on people in areas of private dealings - that is clear from the Canadian Multiculturalism Act:
AND WHEREAS the Constitution of Canada and the Official Languages Act provide that English and French are the official languages of Canada and neither abrogates nor derogates from any rights or privileges acquired or enjoyed with respect to any other language;
3. (1) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Government of Canada to:
(i) preserve and enhance the use of languages other than English and French, while strengthening the status and use of the official languages of Canada
And in the Charter which is the supreme law of the land:
27. This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.
The core principle of multiculturalism is that no culture or ethnic group superior to another. As Pierre Trudeau noted in the House of Commons when Canada adopted an official multicultural policy in 1971... "there is no official culture, nor does any ethnic group take precedence over any other." And this petition sends the message that English culture is superior.
University of B.C. psychology professor Andrew Scott Baron said he believes a signage policy could be “dangerous” to the community.
“I think it would have more negative ramifications than positive,” Baron said.
“It establishes a status hierarchy. It says that English is the proper language.”
Baron said the policy could do the most harm to young kids, who don’t understand the politics and might receive the message that “to be Canadian means not to speak Chinese.”
The multiculturalism expert said that living in an increasingly global world means learning to appreciate and speak other languages, rather than setting one above the other.
I have been categorical opposed to the Quebec separatist French language laws and this petition and mindset comes from the same sort of mindset.