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PQ leader speaks out against plan to replace French road signs with pictograms

Parti Québécois leader Jean-François Lisée
speaks at a press conference in Montreal on Thursday, September 13, 2018. .
Parti Québécois leader Jean-François Lisée speaks at a press conference in Montreal on Thursday, September 13, 2018. . Peter McCabe/The Canadian Press

Allowing pictograms to replace French wording on road signs would be a no-go under a Parti Québécois government, leader Jean-François Lisée said Thursday.

Lisée said his government would never allow the French language to retreat in the province, even when it comes to directing motorists.

READ MORE: Quebec agrees to replace French-only highway signs with pictograms

He was asked about the matter on Thursday after news outlets reported the outgoing Liberal government has decided to replace its French highway signs with those displaying pictograms in the interest of safety.

He told reporters at a campaign event Montreal that the use of the French language is in risk of decline in the province, and Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard is to blame.

READ MORE: Petition to make Quebec road signs bilingual to be presented Tuesday

Lisée conceded that pictograms are a good idea given the number of English-speaking tourists who come to the province, but said the French wording should not be removed.

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“We have a million American visitors here every year, so it’s good for security to have pictograms, but I would keep the French words,” he said at a campaign stop.

He even suggested the combination of words and pictures could even help American tourists to pick up a bit of French — something he described as “win-win.”

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