Des activistes anglophones attaquent la publicité en français… (Texte

Let your lawyers do the talking

Requiring English businesses to buy French ads in
Yellow Pages walks on rights: activists

Jack Aubry
The Ottawa Citizen

The longstanding policy in Quebec of requiring English
businesses to buy ads in the Yellow Pages’ French section
to get an ad in English faces a court challenge by English-rights

Montreal lawyer Brent Tyler, who recently won a much-publicized
case against the province’s sign law, has written Bell Actimedia
asking it to drop the policy, saying it infringes on his client’s
rights under the Canadian and Quebec charters of rights and freedoms.

"This condition imposes a greater financial burden on merchants who
wish to target an English-speaking market by requiring that they pay
twice the amount," wrote Mr. Tyler, who is representing outspoken
activist Howard Galganov in the case.

Mr. Galganov says the case might turn into a class-action suit seeking
a return of millions of dollars collected by the Yellow Pages from
English merchants for double ads since the law was brought in more
than 20 years ago.

"It’s a total scam," said Mr. Galganov. "They’re forcing people to pay
twice, but only some people. You’re forced to advertise to a market
even if you don’t want to reach them."

He said Bell Canada has profited by going along with the discriminatory
law rather than challenge it in court as a good Canadian corporate citizen.