Les deux articles suivants nous ont été communiqués par notre correspondant
M. Daniel Duclos.

Vague d’approbation pour l’affichage bilingue à Clarence-Rockland

André Dumont
Le Droit

Le nouveau règlement rendant obligatoire l’affichage bilingue à
Clarence-Rockland a créé une première vague de réactions, la plupart étant
« ça peut certainement s’exporter dans d’autres municipalités. Je suis
parfaitement d’accord avec les grandes lignes », a déclaré le maire de
Hawkesbury et président de l’Association française des municipalités de
l’Ontario (AFMO), Jacques Hétu.

Le Droit révélait hier que la Cité de Clarence-Rockland exige maintenant que
toute nouvelle affiche extérieure installée sur son territoire ait un contenu
bilingue. Mis à part la raison sociale de l’entreprise, le lettrage en français
et en anglais doit être de même dimension.

Depuis, le maire Richard Lalonde a multiplié les entrevues et même reçu des
appels du Nord de l’Ontario et de Toronto. Il a tenu à préciser que l’intérieur
des commerces n’était pas visé et que les contrevenants s’exposeront à des
amendes pouvant aller jusqu’à 5 000 $.


Article en anglais

Clarence-Rockland hires language police

New businesses forced to have signs with English, French in ‘exactly the same

Dave Rogers
The Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Clarence-Rockland has passed a bylaw requiring new businesses to post signs
that give equal prominence to French and English, likely making it the first
Ontario municipality to regulate the language on signs.

Mayor Richard Lalonde says businesses that fail to comply with the new sign
bylaw will face fines up to $5,000 and could lose the performance bonds they
post when city council approves their development plans.

Clarence-Rockland will have its own version of the Office quebecois de la
langue francaise — bylaw enforcement officers who will check new business signs
to make sure the wording meets the city’s language requirements.

Mr. Lalonde said yesterday Clarence-Rockland, a city of 22,000 about 35
kilometres east of Ottawa, is the first municipality in Ontario to require
bilingual business signs and equal prominence for both languages.

The new bylaw applies to all outside signs. Existing businesses will be able
to keep their current signs, but will have to meet the bilingualism requirements
if they change them. Trade names won’t have to be changed.

The eight-member city council approved the bylaw by a vote of seven-to-one on
Monday after residents complained about Canadian Tire and Giant Tiger store
signs that were in English only.

However, only a handful of people attended the meeting.

"I spoke to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and they told me that it is
within our powers to do this," Mr. Lalonde said. "Clarence-Rockland has been a
bilingual municipality for at least seven or eight years and people have the
right to be served in both official languages.

"The city is 68-per-cent francophone and 32-per-cent anglophone. When the
Giant Tiger was put up about three years ago, hundreds of people complained
about its signs and some wanted to block the entrance. We want to promote both
languages and avoid complaints."

Mr. Lalonde said the Giant Tiger and Canadian Tire have since changed their
signs to include French and English.

"Now the lettering will have to be exactly the same size in French and
English," Mr. Lalonde said. "A bylaw officer will measure the lettering on the
signs to make sure they meet the requirements.

"If the signs aren’t to the satisfaction of the city, new businesses won’t
get their performance bonds back. People will be asked to change the signs and
if they don’t do so, we will use the performance bonds. The bonds are typically
about 50 per cent of the value of the building."

Businesses post performance bonds with a municipality prior to development.

If the business meets all the requirements set out in the site plan
agreement, it gets the money back. If it doesn’t, the municipality uses the bond
to pay for the needed work.

Mr. Lalonde said he doesn’t expect the new bylaw will be a problem for
businesses because they are interested in earning a profit, not arguing about
French and English.

Yves Bisson, president of the Clarence-Rockland Business Alliance, said new
bilingual signs may be more expensive, but at least there will be more French
signs on businesses.

(Le 13 janvier 2005)