What’s Good For the Goose is Not Good Enough For the Gander


by Suzanne Reisler Litwin – Keeping it Real

While on a summer vacation in Ogunquit, Maine, USA I noticed something inclusive and wonderful. Upon entrance to Ogunquit Beach I  noticed these 2 new signs. To my amazement the signs are written in both English and French. How thoughtful of the town of Ogunquit, Maine to welcome their Quebec visitors with a public sign in their French language.

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So here’s what is so upsetting. This sign is completely “illegal” in Quebec, but in Maine, USA it is a welcome mat.  It is illegal in Quebec because it  has both languages English and French in equal font sizes. This causes me such aggravation.

In Maine, USA public signs are permitted to be written in other languages as long as English appears. So to encourage Quebecers to come to Ogunquit, the signs are in both English and French. How kind and considerate.  The town of Ogunquit wants to encourage French speaking visitors to come and vacation in their town. Let’s welcome Quebecers to spend their Canadian money even when the US dollar is over $1.30!

Their attitude is wonderful and inclusive! This is what is so wrong with Quebec !!!! Instead of encouraging American tourists to come to Quebec, they discourage them by not welcoming them with English signage.   Quebec does not have a welcome mat! They exercise dis-inclusivity. Therefore, they discourage English speaking tourists by not providing them with English public signs. In turn, this is a bold “NO” to the American dollar also. Just another way of dis-encouraging the economy too.Suzanne Litwin

All for what? The fear that the French language is going to be eaten alive from all the American English speakers? As if while your sleeping the French language you know will be sucked out of your brain and replaced with English words when you awake. That French will die a slow painful death along with Yiddish!

French is perfectly fine in Quebec! It’s time to encourage American tourists and their American dollars. Say “Hi!” and “Bonjour!” and print, “Welcome to Montreal!” and “Bienvenue Montréal!”

If Quebec really wants to keep their population as “lobster’s in a pot”, they should go to Ogunquit, Maine where they are encouraged and full-heartedly welcomed! Bon Appetite mon frère !

‎Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator.Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real.  She is an instructor at Concordia University in the School of Extended Learning – Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper.   She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real.  Please visit her website  www.suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.