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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 7:30 AM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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Richmond, B.C., considers banning Chinese-only signage

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/10...dvertisements/

Basically, Richmond is toying with the idea of a by-law to ensure that the roughly dozen or two dozen businesses in Richmond with Chinese-only signage also has some English signage.

Thoughts?

As an opening remark, I hope everyone reminds themselves what they said about Quebec's language laws when they consider how to evaluate this proposal. I'm not suggesting it's the exact same thing (one can arguably make a distinction between the language of a supposed founding community vs. the language of a non-founding community), but certainly some of the arguments used in that context are also applicable here.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 8:55 AM
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I think all signage should have some English on it.

Chinese for all I care can still be the larger print, but to be honest having your signage in a location (British Columbia / Anglo Canada) where English is the official "common" tongue makes you business obviously exclusive to non Chinese, which is essentially racism.

There are people from countries around the world living in Metro Vancouver, and we use English as the equalizer.

Again, if your signs are only in Chinese it is obvious that you don't really want white, brown, black or even other non Chinese Asian customers. It is indirectly (or I bet in some cases directly) prejudice.

Again, that doesn't mean take down all the Chinese signs, it just means add some English ones as well.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2015, 1:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I think all signage should have some English on it.

Chinese for all I care can still be the larger print, but to be honest having your signage in a location (British Columbia / Anglo Canada) where English is the official "common" tongue makes you business obviously exclusive to non Chinese, which is essentially racism.

There are people from countries around the world living in Metro Vancouver, and we use English as the equalizer.

Again, if your signs are only in Chinese it is obvious that you don't really want white, brown, black or even other non Chinese Asian customers. It is indirectly (or I bet in some cases directly) prejudice.

Again, that doesn't mean take down all the Chinese signs, it just means add some English ones as well.
I think the Canadian constitution guarantees freedom of expression and unless a province wants to invoke the not withstanding clause, then I don't see the point in forcing a language on business owners. I don't see why a Chinese language book store should have to have a sign in English or French. A Chinese sign alone will attract its target audience. This isn't a case of protecting the language of the majority as is the case in Quebec, where a case can be made for having French mandatory on signage.
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Old Posted Aug 26, 2015, 5:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Ontarois View Post
I think the Canadian constitution guarantees freedom of expression and unless a province wants to invoke the not withstanding clause, then I don't see the point in forcing a language on business owners. I don't see why a Chinese language book store should have to have a sign in English or French. A Chinese sign alone will attract its target audience. This isn't a case of protecting the language of the majority as is the case in Quebec, where a case can be made for having French mandatory on signage.
How is it any different? Why is protecting the language of a dead colonial power that's been gone for over 200 years more important?
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2015, 1:29 PM
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How is it any different? Why is protecting the language of a dead colonial power that's been gone for over 200 years more important?
Because of the two founding languages of modern Canada, French is threatened and English isn't. I know I am beating a dead horse here, but that is it.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2015, 12:28 AM
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Because of the two founding languages of modern Canada, French is threatened and English isn't. I know I am beating a dead horse here, but that is it.
I would say English actually is threatened in Richmond. I went to a chain restaurant on No 3. road recently and had a difficult time communicating. The place was packed and only one other table had non-Chinese at it.
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Old Posted Aug 26, 2015, 5:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontarois View Post
I think the Canadian constitution guarantees freedom of expression and unless a province wants to invoke the not withstanding clause, then I don't see the point in forcing a language on business owners. I don't see why a Chinese language book store should have to have a sign in English or French. A Chinese sign alone will attract its target audience. This isn't a case of protecting the language of the majority as is the case in Quebec, where a case can be made for having French mandatory on signage.
Usually, I would agree with this. I am generally very against restrictions and regulations like that. However, if you read through the entire thread (which was quite productive) you'll see my reasons for this exception. At the end of the day, all I can say is if you don't experience it for yourself, you won't get it. It really sucks.
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 9:06 AM
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Largely agree with Metro. Have signs predominantly in Chinese if so desired, but those signs must also have the same in English on them.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DrNest View Post
Largely agree with Metro. Have signs predominantly in Chinese if so desired, but those signs must also have the same in English on them.
Agreed. In HK many have the same and it helps immensely.
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 10:01 AM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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I disagree. I do not think the government should be forcing businesses to use a particular language on their signage.

This issue has arisen before and the by-law has never passed. Hopefully that continues.
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 10:22 AM
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So then why are you asking the question, are you just trying to see how many people agree with you?

Why do you disagree, what are the negative consequences of having some English mandated on signs? Such a law would not say you have to use only English, and I honestly don't care which language is dominantly shown.

This isn't about loosing English or a threat on English, this is about making all places in metro Vancouver inclusive for the general public. Why is this wrong?

IMO I feel it would be pretty rude to open up a business in Japan and use only English.

Please explain how I and DrNest are wrong. For the record I have no problem with Quebec's language laws regarding signage.

Again, having only Chinese signs on a business in BC is pretty rude / exclusive to everyone else living in the area. Again, I really do feel that is a prejudice (weather indirectly or directly).
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
IMO I feel it would be pretty rude to open up a business in Japan and use only English.


i suspect the argument here would be that rudeness, while unpleasant and counter-productive, need not be illegal.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 11:02 AM
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I agree that the signs should have some English displayed in areas where Chinese is the majority but only secondarily. (Richmond is literally 70-75% non-white with the majority being Chinese) English speakers seem to be slowly becoming the under class in Vancouver which makes some uncomfortable I think we need to nip this in the bud.
EDIT as I seem a bit racist: (naturally through more varied immigration even if its still from China just with money not the deciding factor for applicants)

It's essentially how it works here in Montréal. The higher proportion of English people in a neighborhood the more frequent and larger the print is going to be in English.

In Vancouver or even the west coast in general Chinese have a lot of history even (helping build the trans Canada rail road at the start of confederation) so I think they have some ground to have their signs at least partially in Chinese.

Last edited by TheGenuineArticle; Oct 21, 2014 at 11:46 AM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 12:09 PM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
So then why are you asking the question, are you just trying to see how many people agree with you?
To have a discussion and find out what others think. Am I not allowed to have an opinion on this topic? Perhaps discussion could change my opinion, but certainly rude questions like yours will achieve nothing constructive.

I'll address your interesting and substantive questions a little later.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2015, 2:09 PM
yaletown_fella yaletown_fella is offline
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
I disagree. I do not think the government should be forcing businesses to use a particular language on their signage.

This issue has arisen before and the by-law has never passed. Hopefully that continues.
+1
The vast majority of their clientele are asians. Asians tend to have the most disposable income anyways. What incentive do they have to cater to less monied ethnic groups?
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2015, 2:35 PM
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Originally Posted by yaletown_fella View Post
+1
The vast majority of their clientele are asians. Asians tend to have the most disposable income anyways. What incentive do they have to cater to less monied ethnic groups?
Where do you get this stat that Asians (by that I assume you mean Chinese) have the most disposable income. I remember they looked at income by ethnic group in Ontario and Chinese here had actually below average income compared to other ethnic groups.
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2015, 3:54 PM
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What tends to happen in places like Richmond, is that the family sets up the mom and kids in Canada, living in a $2 - 3 million new McMansion, and the dad stays in China making the income. The Canadian residents declare very little income, and appear, to CRA, to be a low income household, despite the palatial digs, and multiple BMWs and Mercedes sitting in the garage/driveway.
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2015, 9:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mistercorporate View Post
Where do you get this stat that Asians (by that I assume you mean Chinese) have the most disposable income. I remember they looked at income by ethnic group in Ontario and Chinese here had actually below average income compared to other ethnic groups.
Very different in BC. There are of course less economically advantaged Chinese migrants, and many multi-generational families as well, but the amount of outrageously wealthy Chinese immigrants in Vancouver is simply staggering compared to Toronto, or really most places in the world.
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Old Posted Aug 26, 2015, 11:15 PM
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Very different in BC. There are of course less economically advantaged Chinese migrants, and many multi-generational families as well, but the amount of outrageously wealthy Chinese immigrants in Vancouver is simply staggering compared to Toronto, or really most places in the world.
I had my obligatory daily luxury car sighting with a new driver plaque and youngster behind the wheel en route to work in Richmond: today it was a Lamborghini with a 'N' (novice) graduated licence plaque, and on Sunday I saw a Tesla P85D with matte black wrap and neon pinstripe highlights, and a 'N' plaque. So anecdotally, story checks out.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2015, 1:09 AM
yaletown_fella yaletown_fella is offline
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Originally Posted by mistercorporate View Post
Where do you get this stat that Asians (by that I assume you mean Chinese) have the most disposable income. I remember they looked at income by ethnic group in Ontario and Chinese here had actually below average income compared to other ethnic groups.
lol You must be looking at stats from the 90s?
If you ever get the chance to drive or take the bus around Vancouver (or Markham, Ontario), take note of the ethnicity of people driving BMWs, Audis, Mercedes, Porsches, Italian supercars etc.
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