Alma Sultafa The Attorney General of Quebec Appellant v. Valerie Ford etal. Respondent Interveners The Attorney General of Canada, the Attorney General for Ontario and the Attorney General for New Brunswick AN APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL FOR QUÉBEC The principal issue in this appeal is whether s. 58 and s. 69 of the Quebec Charter of the French Language, R.S.Q., c. C-11, which require that public signs and posters and commercial advertising shall be in the French language only and that only the French version of a firm name may be used, infringe the freedom of expression guaranteed by s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and s. 3 of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. There is also an issue as to whether s. 58 and s. 69 of the Charter of the French Language infringe the guarantee against discrimination based on language in s. 10 of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms turns initially on whether there is a valid and applicable override provision, enacted pursuant to s. 33 of the Canadian Charter, that s. 58 and s. 69 of the Charter of the French Language shall operate notwithstanding in s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter. The appeal, (initiated by the government of Quebec) consolidated many cases initiated by Montreal-area merchants i.e wool shop owner Valerie Ford. They had been fined for violation of the Charter of the French Language. Judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal on December 22, 1986, dismissed the appeal of the Quebec Superior Court on December 28, 1984, which, on an application for a declaratory judgment, declared s. 58 and s. 69 of the Charter of the French Language to be inoperative and no force or effect to the extent that it prescribes that public signs and posters and commercial advertising shall be solely in the French language. Charter of the French Language, (Bill 101) established by the National Assembly of Quebec in 1977. s. 58. Public signs and posters and commercial advertising shall be solely in the official language. s.69. Subject to section 68, only the French version of a firm name may be used in Québec. Chief Justice Dickson & Justice Beetz, McIntire, Lamer, Wilson (Estey and Le Dain JJ. took no part in the judgment) The court decided that the appeal should be dismissed. Sections 58 and 69 of the Charter of the French Language, and ss. 205 to 208 thereof to the extent they apply to ss. 58 and 69, infringe s. 3 of the Quebec Charter and are not justified under s. 9.1 of the Quebec Charter. Section 69, and ss. 205 to 208 to the extent they apply to s. 69, infringe s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter and are not justified by s. 1 of the Canadian Charter. Sections 58 and 69 infringe s. 10 of the Quebec Charter. Basically , the Supreme Court of Canada decision struck down part of the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101). The court ruled that Bill 101 violated the freedom of expression as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court ruled that the sections of the Charter of the French Language enforcing the exclusive use of French on outdoor commercial signs were unconstitutional. The attack on sections of Bill 101 making French the exclusive language for commercial signs and firms names was based not on specific language rights but on the right of freedom of expression – a right found in s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter as well as in Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court remarked that the Quebec government could legitimately require French to have "greater visibility" or "marked predominance" on exterior commercial signs: however, it could not enforce the exclusive use of French. The court made it easier for legislatures to use s. 33 of the Charter, the override clause, to immunize their laws from judicial review. After the Supreme Court's decision, premier Robert Bourassa's Liberal Party of Quebec government passed Bill 178, making minor amendments to the Charter of the French Language. Recognizing that the amendments did not follow the Supreme Court's ruling, the provincial legislature invoked section 33 of the Canadian Charter to shield Bill 178 from review by courts for five years. This move was politically controversial, both among Quebec nationalists who were unhappy with the changes to the Charter of the French Language, and among English-speaking Quebecers who opposed the use of the notwithstanding clause. Tension over this issue was a contributing factor to the failure of the Meech Lake Accord. In 1993, the Charter of the French Language was amended in the manner suggested by the Supreme Court of Canada. Bill 86 was enacted by the Bourassa government to amend the charter. It now states that French must be predominant on commercial signs, but a language other than French may also be used. English–French bilingualism quickly returned on exterior signs after 1993, especially in Montreal. Quebec Sign’s decision (striking down Quebec’s French –only sign law) is one of the Court’s most important Charter decision. The decision moved constitutional jurisprudence in two different directions at once: -embraced a wide interpretation of ‘freedom of expression’ as a constitutional right -established a broad basis for legislatures to use the power they have under s. 33 of the Charter to override constitutional rights and freedoms. The decision had a major impact on constitutional politics in Canada. Charter of the French Language, R.S.Q., c. C-11. The Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11. Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, R.S.Q., c. C-12. Ford v. Quebec (Attorney General),  2 S.C.R. 712. Quebec Court of Appeal,  R.J.Q. 80, 5 Q.A.C. 119, 36 D.L.R. (4th) 374. Superior Court for the District of Montreal,  C.S. 147, 18 D.L.R. (4th) 711. Thank you!