05/13/2015 10:17 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 05:59 EDT

Richmond community group to mediate Chinese-only signs to include English

Chinese community leaders in Richmond are trying to work with Chinese business owners and city hall to resolve the issue of Chinese-only signs in the city.They want to get business owners to voluntarily include English on their signs without having to bring in a bylaw.

"It's important for the community to be involved. We want to advocate a better solution through communication and education," longtime Richmond resident and business owner, Kenneth Tung told On the Coast's Stephen Quinn.

Tung is a member of the new group Signs of Harmony Project that is hoping to find a solution for both the city and business owners.

Tensions have risen in the city for the last couple of years since a petition was signed by Richmond residents to make English mandatory on commercial signs. A motion was subsequently rejected by city council to enact such a law.

The City of Richmond has said that before any bylaw is reconsidered, there would be an effort to educate and communicate with residents the advantages of including English on their signs. Despite that, Tung says there needs to be a voice that can mediate the discussion.

"I think we need to show to everyone that the community is part of the improvement efforts to make a change. It's important for people to make it appropriate to communicate."

The groups is asking Richmond residents to e-mail photos of Chinese-only signs to them so they can speak to those business owners about considering changing their signs to include English as well.

Photos of Chinese-only signs can be sent to

To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Richmond group to advocate for English on Chinese signs.