Despite heavy rain, about 100 people demonstrated in front of Air Canada’s head office in the borough of Saint-Laurent on Saturday afternoon, demanding the resignation of the company’s president and CEO Michael Rousseau.
“You shouldn’t be afraid to get wet to protect the French,” he joked There is At the end of the ceremony, the general president of the Society Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montreal, Marie-Ann Allepin, organized his organization in a festive atmosphere. “All we ask is to respect us,” he added about Air Canada, which describes itself as a bilingual company.
Poor language skills by the leader of the country’s largest air carrier have made many unhappy. On November 3, Mr. Rousseau gave a speech in almost complete English to the Metropolitan Montreal Board of Trade.
“I’ve always been able to stay in Montreal without speaking French and I think it’s in honor of the city of Montreal,” he later told the media. The man, who has lived in Quebec for 14 years, also argued that his busy work schedule did not give him time to learn French, a comment that immediately angered Quebec politicians. The CEO later apologized.
“Such a situation is unacceptable. It needs to stop, ”Hammred said in an interview Saturday There is, Quebec Solidar MNA Alexander Leduk. The Montreal-elected official believes Mr Rousseau has become “a symbol of this old caste of English-speaking leaders” in recent weeks who have not yet mastered the French language. “It’s as insulting as it is stupid,” said protester Andre Sint.
Several former Air Canada executives have not mastered the French language better than Michael Rousseau, with the exception of his immediate predecessor, Calin Rovinescu, who excelled at the language. He was in office from 2009 till last February.
The outcry raised by the issue seems to have already borne fruit, with protesters gathered at the scene on Saturday. These then refer to the decision made on Friday by SNC-Lavalin’s big boss Ian Edwards, who decided to postpone an English-only lecture indefinitely, which he will give next Monday in front of the Canadian Club of Montreal.
“Mr. Rousseau is just a tip of the iceberg,” Ms. Allepin observed.
With an umbrella in hand, a Quebec flag or a sign in the other hand, the protesters took part in a series of speeches by elected officials, especially from the block Quebec and the Quebec Solidarity, but also to defend the French language. Instead, they claimed – along with Quebec’s independence – that Michael Rousseau would be forced to resign, at least until he finished learning French, as he had promised to do so this week, after having more than 2,000 subjects. Complaints filed in the Office of the Official Language Commissioner, a record.
“The board has to do the right thing. Yes, the French lesson is good, but the language cannot be learned by pressing the finger. He should probably take some time and have an interim responsibility to do what he needs to do, ”argued Mrs. Aleppo. “Mr Rousseau, in light of the outrage he has created himself, should consider resigning,” said Marie-Lawrence Desgagne, president of the party’s national youth committee in Quebec.
Quebec Premier Franসois Legalt has also expressed outrage over remarks made by Michael Rousseau in recent days. However, he did not go so far as to call for his resignation, instead letting it be known that the decision was made by Air Canada’s “board of directors”.
Ms. Aleppin also hopes that Bill 96, which protects the French language, will, when enacted, be relentlessly applied to companies under federal authority, such as Air Canada. Protesters are considering doing their part to stop buying their plane tickets from this company. This is especially the case with Andre Sinot.
“Everything will be except Air Canada, even if we have to pay more,” he said, referring to a trip to Germany soon after.