English and French could soon be mandatory on business signs in Richmond if council votes to pass a bylaw amendment.
According to the City of Richmond, the bylaw amendment “provides an opportunity to address signs in a manner consistent with the City’s social vision for shaping an inclusive, engaged, and caring community to support community harmony.” Richmond City Council
Richmond City Council wants to encourage the inclusion of 50% English or French content on signs.
According to councillor Carol Day, Richmond residents have been quite open to being educated about why signs should also contain English or French.
“I was very surprised that 100% of the people, when educated about the benefits of having English or having French on their signs went ‘Oh, ok I’ll do that,'” Day told Daily Hive.
In 2015, visual inspections of business signage in Richmond found a number of storefront signs with only foreign language signage.
Since then, the City has called on bylaw officers to educate business owners about having English on their signs.
“Since we had 100% compliance with our bylaw officers with the signs, it seems like the right time to require one of Canada’s official languages on signs in Richmond,” said Day.
She says that having English on signs would be the main priority, but creating a conversation about French as a second language is something council aims to do.
“I don’t know that we are going to see much French onRichmondd signs truth be told. But it helps educate the owners of these businesses that Canada does have two offical languages.”
Richmond City Council is set to vote on the amendment next week.