Letter to the Editor Eric Little of Ottawa Ontario on the language of Justice in Canada
Air Canada, from which a couple flew during a vacation in 2009, was alleged to breach linguistic duties to communicate and serve, with some allowable and reasonable exceptions, in both official languages. So, this couple after filing a complaint with the Official Languages Commissioner’s office went to court wanting a letter of apology, damages, and claiming these breaches are systemic.
It does not matter that 2 of 3 Judges on this case were born in Quebec and the other born in Saskatchewan and educated partially at the bilingual University of Ottawa, because rule of law and justice is above that. (It is suspicious that 7 of the 13 Federal Court Judges were born in Quebec and no obvious rule in place to have one from each province and territory) If more people were able to see the big picture that has been created over time though, we would see many links and events like this one case, building on the one before and eventually affecting unilingual English and the fewer in number, French only speakers that we now have. Don’t yet think this is not far reaching? Ask Air Canada partners. http://fullcomment.
You may remember Mr. Thibodeau as a federal employee, fully bilingual and has been to court several times for language concerns. I admire that someone stands up for what they believe, however is the real injustice worth it to give the couple 1,500 dollars instead of the 12,000 originally? Air Canada serves Coke products and therefore has Sprite not 7UP but is it such a hardship for a bilingual person to communicate in someone else’s language of choice?
What is reasonable accommodation anymore concerning language? Canada needs a discussion, a proper review at a minimum, of the Official Languages Act & Ontario’s French Language Services Act, but it is all too “controversial” I guess to do the right thing.
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