A bid to overturn Quebec’s sign law by a group of anglophone merchants suffered yet another setback after the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld two lower court rulings that held that the French language is still vulnerable in Quebec and continues to need protection even though it has made “modest progress” in recent decades.
Why it matters: The Quebec appeal court also appears to have “opened a door” to new legal challenges to the signage law under s. 15 of the Canadian Charter and s. 10 of the Quebec Charter.
Also, the appeal court found that unilingual English websites are too subject to the French language charter.
But the appeal court also appears to have “opened a door” to new legal challenges to the signage law under s. 15 of the Canadian Charter and s. 10 of the Quebec Charter
In a major victory for international retailers such as Best Buy, Costco, Gap, and Wal-Mart, the Quebec Court of Appeal confirmed that the Charter of the French Language allows for the use of non-French trademarks on storefront or public signs and advertising in the province, so long as no equivalent French trademark has been registered.
A five-judge Court of Appeal panel held, without even hearing arguments from retailers or interveners, that the Charter and its regulations clearly allow the use of a trademark in a language other than French, even if the trademark name is being used as a business name.
In a ruling that deftly circumvented the politically sensitive issue surrounding Quebec’s controversial language law, the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned a lower court judgment that would have temporarily allowed ten private-school students from pursuing their studies at English-language schools.