Mr. Speaker, last night, I took an Air Canada flight from Montreal to Ottawa, which was two hours late. Imagine my surprise when the flight attendant gave me instructions only in English. Given my persistence in asking if she spoke both official languages, she replied, in an arrogant tone, that she also spoke two languages: Chinese and English.
A similar experience was described last week in Le Soleil by someone from my riding who was travelling from Montreal to Quebec City. The flight attendant threatened to cancel the flight if he did not stop causing a disruption, when all he was doing was demanding service in French, just as I was.
If the government were serious about its desire to ensure that the Official Languages Act is respected, it would put more pressure on Air Canada, which is the subject of nearly 25% of all complaints received by the Commissioner of Official Languages. Yet the regulations are clear: services are to be provided in both official languages in airports serving Quebec, among others. We have also seen this same “who cares” attitude towards respecting the French language in the planning of the Vancouver Olympic Games.