On Campus

French professor steals English sign

Latest in U Ottawa language tussle

A University of Ottawa professor stole a National Bank sign set up on campus because it wasn’t available in French. François Charboneau, an assistant professor of Political Studies told CBC News that he did so because he wanted to send a stronger message than simply “making another complaint.” All official signs must appear in English and French at the university, but many companies providing services on campus, such as construction companies and food shops, don’t follow the same rules. That’s because the 1974 provincial act that made the university bilingual says it must support this mandate in “programmes, central administration, general services, internal administration of its faculties and schools, its teaching staff, its support staff and its student population.” It says nothing of ancillary services. It isn’t just francophones who are often frustrated by the relationship between English and French on campus. An anglophone student recently wrote of her frustration about French-only signs and service at a Quizno’s sandwich shop on campus.

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