Shawville has a posse

Lynn Wilson was in court in Campbell’s Bay yesterday over the incident four years ago in Shawville where a language inspector was followed around town by irate residents (including the mayor and, ahem, local media); CBC Ottawa and the Montreal Gazette have coverage. Locals know this issue all too well; it’s unfortunate that the only time Shawville hits the radar in the rest of Canada is when there’s a sign-law confrontation (see previous entry).

For those of you who need some background: Shawville is 97 per cent anglophone — the Pontiac MRC overall is 57 per cent anglo — and many of its residents don’t speak French well or at all. Shawville also has more little mom-and-pop businesses than anywhere else in the county. This makes clashes with the language police inevitable, since many of the shopkeepers wouldn’t be able to read their signs, receipts and labels if they were in French. (It’s also a convenient way, some suggest, to ratfuck a competitor through an anonymous complaint.)