Chinese-language signs have been a fiery issue in Richmond.
Residents have launched petitions insisting all signs contain at least some of Canada’s official languages, English or French, even if almost half the city’s population is ethnic Chinese.
Prominent Chinese leaders have also called on Richmond businesses to include English in all signs, as well for immigrants to show respect for their adopted country by following its customs.
Richmond City Council, however, maintains it cannot mandate English in Chinese-language signs because it would face a court challenge, particularly from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
In May, Richmond council attempted to sidestep a BCCLA challenge by approving a motion to begin restricting signage “clutter.” Councillors say this would deal with the controversy because most of the city’s Chinese-only signs are temporary, posted in windows or electronic.