French on rise in Montreal businesses, OQLF reports
A new report from the Office Quebecois de la Langue Francaise (OQLF) says that the use of French in business in Montreal is on the rise, or in some cases, staying static at a consistently high level.
The new statistics run contrary to a common perception that the French language is under threat on the island.
"Between 2010 and 2012, the number of businesses on the street whose names fit the standards of the Charter has risen from 78 to 85%," says the report.
That's an increase of 7% in two years.
French services widely available
As well, the report says access to services in French is widespread in Montreal, even on the West-island.
"It is possible to be served in French in 96% of businesses on the island," says the report, "without a great variation between one zone to another."
93% of West-island businesses are able to serve customers in that language. In downtown Montreal, the number rises to 97%.
However, the report also says that 57% of Francophones do not ask to be served in French when they are first addressed in another language, despite the widespread availability of that service.