June 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Air Canada complies with Bill 96

Air Canada complies with Bill 96

A few days after the Canadian National, it was Air Canada’s turn to submit to Bill 96 on French protection.

In a brief press release issued by the company on Monday, it “announces its voluntary registration with the Quebec Office of the French Language under the Charter of the French Language, following several months of negotiations with the Office”.

The air carrier is following in the footsteps of the National Railways which took the same decision last Thursday.

Both companies are in a special situation, subject to Canada’s Official Languages ​​Act, by its founding statute.

However, Bill 96, passed by Quebec to strengthen Bill 101 against the French, now forces federally chartered companies to comply with Frenchization measures.

Air Canada announced last November that it was already obligated by federal law to “ensure the day-to-day application of its linguistic obligations.” The Canadian carrier also said it wants a “uniform and coherent regime” so that its linguistic responsibilities are shared with all airlines.

Air Canada is theoretically committed until December 1 and is called to order, as is CN.

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Thus, the last few months of negotiations have paid off and the company is now “proud of its commitment to the French language in Quebec and throughout its global network.”

“The additional gesture the company is taking today reflects its desire to contribute to the protection, promotion and influence of the French language,” the statement said.

In a message posted on social networks, French Language Minister Jean-Francois Roberge welcomed the company’s decision to register for the Frenchisation process.

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“On this International Day of Francophonie, I am delighted that Air Canada is joining the OQLF francification process. I salute this gesture by a major company headquartered in Montreal. All together for the French! ” he wrote.

In recent years, the airline has been embroiled in various language controversies, the most glaring of which is, without a doubt, the monolingualism of its president and chief executive officer, Michael Russo.

He caused outrage in Quebec in 2021 by claiming that he had lived only in English since settling in Montreal fifteen years earlier. Then he had to apologize and promised to learn French.