Worse than useless

Dave Killion — September 4, 2011

I see that even Mr. Lion has heard of the Burlington, Vermont city council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Globe and Mail reports that more Canadian tourists are taking advantage of the strong Canadian dollar to visit Vermont, a trend which many in Vermont have been encouraging –

“For years, a local association has offered French classes to local entrepreneurs, and Mr. Redmond’s group has run a “Welcome Quebec” tent in the town’s central square, festooned with blue-and-white Quebec flags.

Now, it is helping to translate menus and signs and handing out buttons to local retail workers describing how much French they speak,

“We have Bienvenue Québécois stickers in almost every window,” Mr. Redmond said.”

Well, isn’t that the private sector all over! Business owners recognize the benefits of working hard to relate to their consumers more effectively, customers respond appreciatively to the improved treatment, and everyone comes out ahead. And what role has the local government played in all this? None! But don’t you worry – they have noticed that there is a parade, and are rushing out to try and grab the drum major’s position –

“Burlington city council has unanimously passed a non-binding resolution encouraging local businesses to put up more French signs and to get their employees to learn the language.

“We really want people to know we’re putting out the welcome mat,” Norman Blais, the councillor who sponsored the motion, told The Canadian Press.”

Yes, you read that right. City council is encouraging local businesses to start doing something they have already been doing for some time. If this is typical, and I’ll just bet it is, the Burlington voters must be face-palming themselves silly.

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