those french--they have a different word for everything
in canada, governmental bilingual signage requirements admonish all english-speaking provinces (which would be all of them, save quebec) to print everything, and i mean EVERYTHING, in both english and french. this is, ostensibly, to make the french canadians feel welcome and equal in their own country, and this is, practically, extremely thorough to the point of farce. a red octagonal sign at an intersection is universally recognizable as a stop sign, whether its festooned with "stop" as it is in the united states, "arret" as it is in quebec, or "stop arret" as it is in the rest of canada. but as surely as american language bigots and their french visitors get by on simply "stop", the french language bigots and their english visitors happily get by on simply "arret", and nobody is confused about the difference, unless it would be the hapless english canadians with both their french and english visitors who are spending all their money on silly "stop arret" signs that nobody actually needs.
well, i don't want to put too fine a point on that "actually needs" part, since, in practice, there are plenty of signs for which having ones native language helps tremendously in their understanding. but this is my point--in french canada, english visitors, whether they be american or canadian, do not always or even often get the information they need from the local signage, and still we are neither insulted nor unable to get by. however, for whatever reason, french canadian visitors to english provinces are deemed via government fiat to be unable to do the same. and that's ironic.
one of the most visible differences between french and english canada is the dearth of canadian flags in the one, and the plethora present among the other. english canadians are just as downright proud of their nation and its flag than any american you will ever meet, and you don't have to be in english canada more than a moment to notice that you are surrounded by a sea of red and white maple leaf banners. so it takes a mile or two into french canada for you to notice, but notice it you will--the flags, if there are any, are all provincial fleur de lis, and they're blue and white. oh, sure, on the odd national government building you'll see a maple leaf, but the effect is just to put the complete absence of such flags elsewhere into stark relief.
maurice duplessis, responsible for "le grand noirceur", ("the great darkness", which is a fascinating period in french canadian history), said "cooperation always, assimilation never", and it's written there right on his statue in trois rivieres, as well as, apparently, across the hearts of the entire province of quebec. a warmer, friendlier welcome you'll never receive as a visitor from out of town, but keep your hometown flags and your hometown hockey logos to yourself. quebec is a french province, and french right to the very last street sign. and they don't mean to let you forget it.