Lisee speaks out against plan to replace French road signs with pictograms

MONTREAL — Allowing pictograms to replace French wording on road signs would be a no-go under a Parti Quebecois government, leader Jean-Francois Lisee said Thursday.

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

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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.

Lisee 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.

"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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