November 11, 2015 7:07 pm
Updated: November 12, 2015 8:55 pm

Montreal activists persuade Subway Quebec to add English to its menus

WATCH ABOVE: Subway restaurants has just announced it will allow franchises to print its menu signs in English, as well as in French. As Global's Gloria Henriquez reports, this all comes after a group of Montrealers - including a city councillor - lobbied for more bilingual signs.


MONTREAL – Subway Quebec will soon feature bilingual menus in Quebec.

The move is due in large part because of the work of two English rights activists, Côte-Saint-Luc city councillor Ruth Kovac and attorney Harold Staviss.

“After many, many years of trying and encouraging and attempting to get Subway restaurants to go bilingual, they have finally done what’s right,” said Staviss.

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Staviss and Kovac have been pushing national and international companies to install bilingual signs that respect Bill 101 and after over a year of lobbying, Subway Quebec has finally accepted to make the change.

“I think it’s just another step towards other commerces recognizing English is not a disease,” said Kovac.

“It’s a language of business, it’s not something to be afraid of but a matter of giving respect to the customer.”

Global News spoke to Subway Quebec’s president Guy Laframboise, who said this will be an optional program for the 652 stores in Quebec, but he anticipates many franchisees will be adding English to its menus.

Subway restaurants in Quebec used to feature bilingual menus, but they switched over to French-a few years ago.

Laframboise said their old menus were too cluttered, but the new design will make it easier to introduce English.

Laframboise added that it’ll likely take some time for customers to see the difference as it’s a complicated process.

Customers told Global News it was a change for the better.

“English and French? That’s good,” said Bruce Kuang enthusiastically.

“Cause you know why? I only speak English.”

“More bilingualism, equality among anglophones and francophones. We all live together, you know?” said another customer, Peter Daskalakis.

“I’m pretty happy.”

Even though Staviss is happy about this victory, he said there’s a lot of work to do in Montreal.

He and Kovac are lobbying numerous other companies, hoping that it will result in similar outcomes in the future.

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