A Chinese-only sign installed by Canadian Tire on No. 3 Road has been removed by management after several Richmondites complained to the company last month.
The signs indicate to potential shoppers or passersby that there is to be no dumping of recyclables in and around the store.
The Richmond News asked a Canadian Tire spokesperson why the signs were not posted in English as well, and also inquired about whether or not the store had been briefed by City of Richmond staff, which is said to be on an education campaign to direct City Centre businesses to include English on signage.
“The dealer has removed the sign until an English version can be posted alongside it. The signs will be reposted sometime next week,” said Canadian Tire Communications Advisor Ceilidh McMeekin, by email, offering no explanation as to why the signs only targeted Chinese-speaking people.
Community activist Kerry Starchuk, who has petitioned the city to implement official language requirements on business signs, said this is one of many examples of Chinese-only signage becoming increasingly customary in the city.
“Why has the store chosen to put the notices in a language without either of Canada’s official languages? Is the store not aware that there are 161 languages spoken in Richmond and there have been all different cultures that have supported Canadian Tire over the years?” wrote Starchuk to Canadian Tire.
The News asked the city last week whether or not Canadian Tire was briefed about its new policy of inclusivity on business signs, but no one responded by press time.
The city has stated in the past it encourages businesses to have English on all signs.
The matter can be nuanced in many ways. For instance, the city only regulates official signs and the Canadian Tire anti-dumping sign is more of a poster. However, such a poster would fall under a new “clutter bylaw” that seeks to clear unwanted signs from the sidewalk view – and thus in a roundabout way limiting potentially controversial signs.