Municipalities have no jurisdiction over language laws, DDO mayor

By Kevin Woodhouse

When Dollard des Ormeaux resident Darryl Levine noted that the city did not have a presence on Facebook, he began a non-authorized meeting place on the popular social media site about a month ago and gained some interest with a posting about bilingual signage for new businesses coming to DDO.

Levine pondered whether the city could encourage new businesses to commit to signage in both official languages in order to “reflect the demographics of our municipality and display their message in both official languages.”

He received a number of positive replies from residents on the subject. “I recommended that the city use its moral suasion to ask companies to include English words on new commercial signs that require city approval,” explained Levine. “The bylaw already exists to give the city the power to accept or reject signs. It’s during this stage that a city could make the request and companies would likely comply in order to maintain good relations with the city and ensure that their signs are approved.”

When the story was released last week, DDO Mayor Ed Janiszewski was not available for comment but has since contacted The Suburban.

The mayor said that bilingual signage and the imposition of all bylaws therein fall “under the jurisdiction of the provincial government and as a municipality, we have no authority to dictate language laws.”

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