Quebec premier backs order forcing hospital to remove bilingual signs

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault is defending an order forcing a hospital northwest of Montreal to remove its bilingual signs.

To the dismay of local politicians, the hospital in Lachute, Que. recently announced it was switching to French-only signs inside and outside the facility to conform to Quebec's language laws.

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The Office quebecois de la langue francaise, which enforces the province's French language charter, contacted the hospital about the matter last year.

Asked about the decision Thursday in Montreal, Legault said the change is necessary. "I think that we have to follow the law, and they weren't respecting the law," he said. "Bill 101 has to be respected. That's what we'll do."

The regional health authority began covering over English on signs last month. Municipal politicians from the region — both francophone and anglophone — have expressed anger at the move.

Legault said anglophones will continue to have medical services offered to them in English, adding that he doesn't "see the importance of having bilingual signs."

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