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This is the latest in a series of articles looking at stores and companies and their language policies in areas with majority and significant anglophone populations, as documented by Hampstead’s Harold Staviss, a lawyer, and Côte St. Luc Councillor Ruth Kovac.

One of the biggest victories for language respect has been achieved this week, as The Suburban learned that the Subway restaurant chain will enable their Quebec franchisees to install bilingual menus.

This was the resul…t of persistent emails and calls by Staviss and Kovac to the company, protesting their French-only menus, which are even in places like Quartier Cavendish in Côte St. Luc.

Subway Quebec president Guy Laframboise was contacted by The Suburban Tuesday morning.

“We’re going to put into place the new menu program, which will be bilingual,” he said. “It will be an optional program for the franchisees…. I would say the Montreal area, with probably the majority of our 340 stores, will be bilingual.”

The new menu boards are expected early in the new year, perhaps January.

Asked why Subway decided to enable bilingual menu boards to be installed, Laframboise pointed out that the company withdrew their previous bilingual menus many years ago.

“We did it because there was so much writing on our menus, it was very confusing,” he explained. “We then had some calls from Harold [Staviss] and I said ‘you know what, he’s right, let’s get it back in place.’ We discussed it with our franchisees and I made a couple of calls yesterday and I said ‘look, we probably went too far one way and we just want to bring the pendulum back.'”

Staviss was very happy.

“This is a great and fantastic feat indeed,” he said. “Persistence, persistence and more persistence finally paid off in a big way. The more Ruth and I were pushed away by Subway Restaurants, the harder we came back. It was so very refreshing indeed, after once again contacting Subway, to get a phone call from Guy Laframboise advising that English is shortly going to be visible at their retail locations. ” Kudos to Guy, Kudos to Subway, This is not about language, it is only about respect.”

Kovac said that in her talks with small franchisees, “most of them indicated that there was a willingness to go bilingual, especially in English areas, but the messages and message boards came from head office.

“We’re delighted they see the wisdom and the respect. There’s nothing to fear from English, it’s not a disease.”