Podcast [Interview] Éric Blais Discusses Quebec’s Language Laws and How Bill 96 will Impact Retailers

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Craig interviews Éric Blais, President of Headspace Marketing, about how Bill 96 will impact retailers with rules around signage on stores and other businesses. They also discuss language laws generally and how consumers are greeted in stores — and what the penalties might be for businesses in Quebec not complying. 

The Interview Series podcast by Retail Insider Canada is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players. Also check out our The Weekly podcast where Craig and Lee discuss popular content published on Retail Insider which is part of the The Retail Insider Podcast Network.

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Background Music Credit: Hard Boiled Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/



  1. Fascinating. This podcast answered some of my questions but some ambiguities remain and those are what will play out as the new language legislation in Quebec takes effect. If I understand Éric Blais correctly, if certain retailers have NOT trademarked a French version of their names and they are doing business in La Belle Province with French descriptors attached to an English name, there’s nothing to legally stop me as perhaps a deep-pocketed entrepreneur from opening businesses there under DBAs such as: Meilleur Achat, Pneu Canadien, 5 Gars, Pourvoiries Urbaines, Jeux Sont Nous, maybe even Cicicitron. I predict some contretemps. I’d still like to understand better the calculus by which certain international or out-of-province-based retailers coming into Quebec decide it is or is not worth it to trademark a French DBA. Also, why do some retailers like Nordstrom stay out completely? Some consumers in Quebec grumble about this last question: companies will open their stores in Toronto, the largest, wealthiest market first, that’s to be expected. But then, they skip the nation’s second largest agglomeration to open in the third, because according to popular wisdom, it’s filled with free-spending Asians. Does Nordstrom, for example, believe that dealing with francisation AND competing for market share with Quebec home-grown Simon’s too much to take on? Also, how will this work for on line sales? That could become complicated pretty quickly.


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