West Islanders protest Fairview's lack of bilingual signs

About a dozen Fairview Pointe-Claire shoppers took up the cause of bilingual signs outside the West Island shopping centre Saturday, voicing their displeasure over the lack of English on shop signage.

Protesters are calling for a boycott until they see more English on signs inside the mall

About a dozen protesters took up the cause of lack of bilingual signage at Fairview Pointe-Claire, calling it an infringement of their rights. (CBC)

About a dozen Fairview Pointe-Claire shoppers took up the cause of bilingual signs outside the West Island shopping centre Saturday, voicing their displeasure over the lack of English on shop signage.

“We’ve got about 80 to 85 per cent English-speaking people living in this area, in the West Island. Yet, of the approximately 120 stores in Fairview, only three of them… have bilingual signs,” said Norman Simon, a protester waving a Canadian flag.

The protesters are promoting a boycott until they see changes in the mall.

Antoinette Mercurio was among the group outside the mall. She said that a boycott could mean Fairview would miss out on West Islanders’ holiday spending.

“We’re going to hurt that pocket of yours,” she said.

Julian Favard, manager of Fairview’s GNC store, says his company’s head office doesn’t carry bilingual signs — only English or French.

“Sometimes we receive it in English, and we need to put it in the garbage because we can’t use it in Quebec,” he said.

The mall’s administrators said in a statement Fairview is bilingual when it comes to its own signage, but it can’t control what individual retailers do. The administrators are, however, passing the complaints on to the individual stores.

Julian Favard explains to CBC Montreal reporter Marie-Claude Cabana why the store he manages, GNC, doesn't carry bilingual signs. (CBC)

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