Richmond won't pursue bylaw on English-only signs
City instead passes motion on window de-cluttering initiative
The City of Richmond has decided to steer clear of the controversial debate on Chinese-only signs and won't be pursuing a bylaw requiring English-only signage.
"There will be no language bylaw that's going to be invoked," said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie after a council meeting on Monday.
Council instead want staff to look into the merits of a de-cluttering initiative that would limit the potential percentage of window space that can be used for Chinese-language signs or posters.
"This is a band-aid solution," says Richmond resident Kerry Starchuk.
She says English is often neglected on advertising in the city. Since last fall, council has been looking into whether a bylaw requiring English-only signs would be enforceable but was advised it would not stand up to a court challenge.
"It's a very soft approach and for an issue that started in 1996 ... I think they could have done a little better than what they did," she says.
"I want to be able to read my mail and other people to read their mail. I don't want an exclusive community, I want an inclusive community".
Another Richmond resident Randolf Richardson is also troubled by council's decision.
"On a private property, people have the right to express themselves how they wish, target the demographic of their choosing," he says.
Mayor Brodie admits more work needs to be done.
"I believe it's just the start. It's not the finish," he says. "We have resolved all the issue have to work hard on cultural harmony."