Air Canada continues to pursue the Rousseau affair. The Commissioner of Official Languages blamed the carrier for the events last November and the judges alleged that 2680 complaints were in the preliminary report contacted by Le Journal.
In a 17-page document sent to complainants and Air Canada, Raymond Theberz wrote that the company did not respect the law when his boss, Michael Rousseau, addressed the Chamber of Commerce’s Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM).
“Air Canada has not fulfilled its obligation to attend the events of November 3, 2021, as it has not taken the necessary steps to communicate and receive information in the official language of its choice,” he said. , “Wrote Commissioner Raymond Theberg.
“Complaints have proven to be well-established, given the responsibilities provided for in this part of the law,” he continues.
Genesis of failure
The sequence of events that paved the way for the November 3 failure Mr. Theberg reviewed in his report.
In February 2021, Michael Rousseau became the boss of Carrier. The company said after that Log He “speaks functional French and he constantly strives to improve it”.
On November 1, the Le Journal reported that the CEO had decided to deliver his first speech in Quebec in English.
Upon learning of this news, several shareholders, including the Commissioner’s Office and the Quebec Premier’s Office, informed Air Canada of its linguistic responsibilities and the risks associated with such speech. The company, however, decided to heed those warnings.
The leader then made his speech in English, replying that he did not have time to learn French and was able to live in Shakespeare’s language for 14 years in Montreal, “which is the honor of the city.
“Many of the complainants said the CEO’s remarks were insulting, disrespectful, insulting, offensive, unforgivable and insulting and that they had no sensitivity to the French language,” the commissioner pointed out.
In its defense of Air Canada, the CCMM was told that the CEO’s speech would be in English and that it would not be useful to provide simultaneous translation to participants.
Air Canada also considers delegates, especially during interactions with journalists Log And TVA, Mr. Rousseau does not have to respect both official languages.
The commissioner did not agree with Air Canada’s claims, but pointed out that the company had “taken some steps to demonstrate its commitment to the two official languages.”
In his report, the official languages commissioner, Raymond Theberg, did not fail to recall the importance of the Rousseau affair for francophones and made a number of recommendations.
“I also see the events of November 3, 2021 having a real impact on the French situation in Canada,” he wrote in the document.
The latter recommended that Air Canada take “consistent and effective measures” to make senior management members aware of the fact that “all communications intended for the public must be made in two official languages, always of equal quality”.
The Commissioner proposes to add to the performance appraisal of each member of senior management a specific performance target related to the official languages, “this goal will be linked to specific and measurable performance indicators.”
Air Canada should also submit a semi-annual update on the progress of their programs, Mr. Theberz concluded.
The Impératif français organization, many of whose members complained to the commissioner after the November events, condemned the report’s “softness and wood language” as well as the Canadian government’s reaction to the file.
“This issue has been urged at the highest levels of Parliament to support English advancement, to support the French decline and to present Quebec to the Canadian vision,” said President Jean-Paul Perrol.
According to him, the report was another factor that led to Mr. Rousseau’s departure. “This CEO of Air Canada should never be hired because he is monolingual English, does not speak French, or speaks very little,” he said.
Air Canada said it was aware of the report and could comment.
“Air Canada recently announced new official language measures that will strengthen and strengthen its commitment to bilingualism in its corporate culture,” the email was sent to us.