Air Canada’s ‘biggest mistake’

The Ottawa resident who won against the airline in federal court explains what really set him off

Air Canada's 'biggest mistake'

Photograph by Blair Gable

Michel Thibodeau admits it: he is probably the loudest of the roughly one million French Canadians living outside Quebec. Over the last decade, the Ottawa resident and his wife have filed some 100 complaints over the dearth of French language services against the federal, provincial and Ottawa municipal governments—everyone, he says, except the police. The 43-year-old father of two may look about as threatening as a folded newspaper, but he has chalked up a number of victories: his complaints to the City of Ottawa are the main reason you’ll hear French announcements when riding the bus in the nation’s capital. Fluently bilingual, he’s been called unreasonable (among many other things) and fielded the occasional death threat for his efforts.

Yet Thibodeau scored his biggest success last week, when a federal court ruled against Air Canada, his foil in an 11-year case marked by the tension (and occasional absurdity) of the typical made-in-Canada language battle. As a former Crown corporation, the airline must, as a condition of its 1988 sale, conduct a language survey every 10 years and make French services mandatory at airports and on flights where there is at least a five per cent demand. According to the court, the company has repeatedly failed throughout the years to provide adequate services in French, and must pay the self-described soccer dad nearly $19,000 in costs and restitution.

“Air Canada must be able to provide services in both languages,” Thibodeau, who works as a computer technician in the House of Commons, told Maclean’s. “My rights are compromised if it doesn’t, and I have two choices. I can let it be, and my rights become non-existent, or I can do something. I decided to do something.”

It all started on a flight from Montreal to Ottawa in 2000, when Thibodeau asked to be served a soft drink in la langue de Molière. During the flight, operated by an Air Canada subsidiary, Thibodeau asked the flight attendant for a 7-Up; he was less preoccupied by the drink than the fact that, like the crew announcements, it couldn’t be delivered in French. He asked to speak to the captain, and was refused. A police officer was waiting for him in Ottawa. “That was their biggest mistake,” Thibodeau says today. “I can’t say that none of this would have happened, but if they hadn’t called the police I wouldn’t have been so angry.”

But he was angry—and how. “I don’t want to take away anything from English people,” he says. “They always get service in their language, no problem. All I say is that I want the same thing, and the law says I have that right.”

In 2002, armed with a report from the commissioner of official languages admonishing Air Canada for its lack of French services during the flight, Thibodeau filed suit in federal court. He won the case in 2005, as well as the appeal in 2007; the airline, having just emerged from bankruptcy, paid him in shares. Yet the fight was far from over. In 2009, Thibodeau filed seven complaints after trips to Atlanta and the Caribbean for a lack of French services, including being served a Sprite in English. In one instance, according to Thibodeau’s affidavit, an Air Canada employee at Toronto’s Pearson Airport said he was too busy to make an announcement in French because he “was in the middle of eating a sandwich.”

Thibodeau asked for $500,000 in restitution, and he is as adamant about the figure today as he is about pursuing the case in court. “Only the courts can force Air Canada to change. They’ve continued to systematically deny the rights of francophones. So I had to hit them hard in the wallet. It had to hurt a bit for it to change.”

Though Thibodeau didn’t receive anywhere near that amount, Air Canada may have to change its manner of providing bilingual service as a result of the judgment. Justice Marie-Josée Bédard wrote that there is a systemic problem at Air Canada in regard to providing French services on certain flights. The airline consistently failed Thibodeau, says Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser. “The judge took careful note of how Thibodeau was treated, and he was treated with contempt.” (Air Canada declined to comment on the case.)

Thibodeau, meanwhile, says he’s begging off the complaints process for a while—“I’m exhausted,” he says—though he hopes others follow his example. “I wish more francophones would complain when things like this happen to them. If they all did it, things would change in a hurry.”


Air Canada’s ‘biggest mistake’

  1. I would much prefer it if we were a multi-lingual (services can be provided in any official language, but there is no requirement they be permitted in all — the citizen is expected to be able to understand all of them) rather than bilingual country.  The limitations it imposes on government hiring the best people, and the extra costs being bilingual involves are far too high for too little benefit.

    That said, good on Mr. Thibodeau for standing up for his rights. As he points out, if we don’t stand up for them now, they simply won’t be there in future.

  2. All this proves is that the laws need to change. Good on him for showing how ridiculous they are. He speaks both languages, but sues because he can’t order a sprite in French. That forces the airlines to only hire bilingual people. (Gov’t, etc.)

    • Just so you know, you do not have to be BL in Eng and Fr to work at Air Canada…but they do want you to speak something other than English..Hindi, Cantonese, German, whatever…

  3. Tell you what Mr. Thibodeau, when Quebecers stop trying to make every language but French essentially illegal and pounding on minorities for not being “french enough”, then perhaps I may begin to give a rats butt that you can’t order a sprite in french when travelling to US of all places.

    I mean honestly.

  4. On one hand, its good that someone lead by example when it comes to standing up for their rights, but on the other hand I still can’t stand this turkey. 

    I was born in Quebec, grew up in Quebec, and I’m fluently bilingual. But its simply time for Quebec (and its influence) to go. Only then would I be excited for Canada’s future.

    • I’d rather keep Quebec, and most of it’s people, and just lose the vocal minority of Sovereigntists/Separatists.

  5. Perhaps M. Thibodeau would like to turn his energies to the disability community..I’d love the right to enter all the buildings I need to in a wheelchair…

    • Why don’t you start organizing, protesting and/or suing yourself? There’s no reason why M. Thibodeau should have to fight for your special cause.

      • I do organize and work at the politial end of things…don’t have the money or energy to sue.  Its not an either or situation…just thought he had alot of energy in this regard.  BTW I am fully bilingual, with a parent from each language, and like that I can be served in either.  I guess sometimes things happen in life to repriorize where suing/protesting can make a bigger difference…

  6. My compliments Mr. Thibodeau on your efforts!  One shoud not be ashamed to receive services in the language the national anthem was originally written in!  

  7. A dying, useless bilingual policy that English Canada pays $100 million a year promoting, enforcing and imposing on Canadians. Scrap it for anyone other than the Federal Government (for now).

  8. Wonder what the outcome would be if an English speaking person was to try and sue a Quebec agency for not providing services in English. You’d probably get laughed right out of the courtroom and thrown in jail.

    • Would depend on the agency and if the person in question got absolutely no service in English.  There is a constitutional obligation for Quebec government agencies to provide English services.  You should try it.  

    • Double standards. The government keeps trying to appease the French.What rights do the English speaking (majority) of Canada have? You can bash every single english speaker in this country,  but speaking out against the French (minority) is a no-no. Non service in French in Canada is discrimatory!  English in Quebec is not! Sounds fair to me. Yup Sure.

  9. Wow!  That’s better than most people do when Air Canada loses their luggage. 

  10. Seriously, Macleans?  Don’t give this guy anymore of the spotlight he so pathetically requires to sustain his existence.

  11. Great news that Canada is finally living up to the reputation of a bilingual country. We have a beautiful heritage to protect! Well done Mr.Thibodeau!

  12. I can’t believe people see this as a Quebec issue. Read the first sentence: “he is probably the loudest of the roughly one million French Canadians living outside Quebec.” I am very frustrated by the lack of knowledge of Canadians when it comes to French CANADIANS. Yes, people speak French outside of Quebec. And no, we are not from Quebec. And yes, we go to French schools. And no, we are not going to stop existing. Mr Thibodeau is a French Canadian trying to live his life the way he has the rigth to. Live with it.
    Merci Mr Thibodeau de représenter les droits des canadiens francais!

    • My wife is also a non-Quebec francophone.  She lived in Quebec for a year, and discovered that that the uber-nationalists hated her far more than they hate us Anglos – at least we fit into their worldview.

      I think there are two issues at stake that need to be kept separate.  One is a legitimate language right which should be pursued.  The other issue is a group of mostly middle-class white men complaigning that Canada discriminates against them.

      Just for the sake of shaking up the discussion, I just thought I’d point out that I’m a trilingual anglophone living in Sudbury, which is about 30% francophone.  Due to underfunding of doctor training in this country, I can’t even get on a waiting list for an English or bilingual clinic, so I need to see a nurse practitioner who is perfectly bilingual but is required to only provide services in French.

      • Totally agree with you when you say that there is some hate coming from a minority of people in quebec against french canadians. I’ve experience many situations where I was litterally bullied because I was a francophone from Ontario.

        And I also totally agree that there’s a problem in funding for bilingual services, English or French, across the board. That is why, we, francophone living in Ontario, will most likely have to learn english in order to get a job and receive any services. And that is also why, some anglophones will not be served in their language of choice.

  13. Mr. Thibodeau is a professional victim with a giant chip on his shoulder. If he is so unhappy about the availability of French in Canada, then he is free to leave at any time. I’d be happy to chip in for his cab fare to the airport.

    • If you were in his situation, I’m sure you wouldn’t be happy to be told to leave your country.

  14. This case has me in awe on so many levels. Kudos to M.Thibodeau for standing up to his rights and to Air Canada. But seems as if we have a Tower of Babel right in Canada: our laws!

  15. An angry sheep is a good thing. Unfortunately, this sheep has failed to see the big picture. He has failed to see the source of the problem. Yes, a business should cater to its clients… but should we FORCE the business to comply by pointing a gun at it? (google “coercion” and “voluntaryism” if you think this statement is irrational, and judge for yourself)

    Most children learn that forced compliance does not solve problems. Yet as adults, we seem to forget this.

    In an organic free market (without the government pointing guns at everyone), businesses are accountable to their clients. And clients are free to take their business elsewhere. Businesses with poor business models must adapt to clients, otherwise they risk economic ostracism. There is great elegance in natural laws.

    The problem is Statism.

  16. There are many things of greater importance that this man might channel his energy into. I find it disturbing that people worship their government, begging and scraping for their
    government to lay down the law. (“)(-_-)(“) As if their government is a moral instutute with a benevolent role. Delusional sheep: governments steel from unborn children (national debt).

    + Is that ethical? +

    Your government (and statism in general) is unsustainable and unethical.

    + It is poorly designed. +

    But you got caught up in the glitter of “national pride”. You foolishly loved your country, and you were fucking proud of it ( ̄ー ̄). You suffered from a virus called nationalism… until now. Nationalism is pimped out bigotry. And as of now, you are no longer a bigot. You google “libertarianism”, and open your eyes (o_o).

    Bitching to your masters is hardly proactive. Change that inspires comes through action.  By building better, cleaner, user-focussed businesses. By working universal sustainability into the framework of the free market. Lets do that, instead of bitching about language laws.

  17. Too bad there isn’t an anglo in Quebec on the same mission.

    • There is, the many who demand and receive education in English because either one of the parents are Anglo. The Francophobia noted herein tells me there is a lot of Sun readership posting to-day.Gutter Canadians……..

  18. This is crazy.  If you have the time to fight for “your rights” in such a manner, you have too much time on your hands.  To come across as someone that has filed more than 100 complaints should be an embarrassment, not something to be proud of.

    Simple minded individuals like this who want to cry over their rights being violated make me sick and incredibly angry.

    Take a good long look at other countries around the world and try to justify your selfish nonsense.  If nothing else, I wish that people like Mr. Thibodeau were charged for wasting resources, not rewarded because they cried long and hard enough.

    Lets send him to visit Somalia to plead his case to people that have true problems.

  19. Mr. Thibodeau is responsible for the cost of airline tickets rising.

    I guess it’s a good time to fly Westjet.

  20. English people always get service in their language, Ha!  Not in Quebec.
    Perhaps when Air Canada finally goes bankrupt this issue will die.

  21. As I started reading this story, I thought I’d find out the real background to the incident, that it couldn’t be as absurd as it had been made out to be. I was sadly disappointed. I’m sorry for M. Thibodeau’s thin skin, but in a world where life and liberty is being extinguished on a monstrous scale, this makes a mockery of rights. The road to barbarism and persecution doesn’t begin with a 7-Up in English. 

  22. Maybe Mr.Thibodeau should move to the Yukon…….

    Court orders Yukon to build $15M school for 41 francophone students

    “Meanwhile, schools for Aboriginal students, who make up 30% of the territory’s population, are so underfunded that students often have move hundreds of kilometres away to Whitehorse to go to high school.
    If another high school has to be built in the Yukon Territory, I’m not sure it should be in the City of Whitehorse for the francophone population that already has a high school, a very good one,” he said.

  23. This, to me, is the salient point that Thibodeau raises: “I can let it be, and my rights become non-existent, or I can do something. I decided to do something.” 

    Rights can wither away if they are not defended and fought for.  Any of our rights. 

    Thank you Monsieur Thibodeau.

  24. Some English folks will never understand.   An old uncle of mine, who has now passed away, needed to write his Ontario drivers test in Ottawa, six years ago as the law required for someone  who was turning 80 that February.  I took him to write the test on Walkley Road in Ottawa. 

    He was asked in what language he would prefere writing the test and he asked to write the test in French.  We were told that there were not filingual person there that day who ccould the correct French test. 

    They asked my uncle if he would write it in English.  As there was about 5 inches of fresh fallen snow on the roads and having bothered me to drive him there that day and to spare both of us another trip there he decided to write the test in English.  He wrote 4 times and failed the four times.

    He came to see me as I was waiting for him and we decided to return another day.  We did and my uncle passed the French test with flying colours 2 days later when a bilingual person was there to assessed his written test.

    Now…..my unilingual English friends….if it were you in his shoes…you would have made only one trip that February and save yourself and your nephew time and gas.  We did.  We did not complain.  However, you would be totally surprised to know how much of this goes on without people  complaining.

    Perhaps it is good that someone like Mr. Thibodeau raises his/voice once in a while.

    • Your discomfort is a bare fraction of what unilingual anglophones experience in Quebec.

      • AVR……I am fully bilingual…..are you….probably not.  My 2 grand daughters one is 7 and the other 10 and both bilingual…..so there is not too much discomfort here….it is about time unilingual anglophones learn the other language…isn’t it.  Prince William is…..and he lives in England……I am not crying for you.

        • It’s about time Quebec stopped repressing and discouraging use of English as part of a small-minded, spite-based linguistic nationalism, but that’s not happening any time soon.

  25. Good for you Mr. Thibodeau! I support the advancement of official bilingualism (English and French).
    Here’s a fact for you all: Young children’s brains are hard-wired to learn language(s) quickly…and this country ought to consider finally taking advantage of that happy reality. If we did, in a single generation, we would have bilingual Canadians from coast to coast to coast…and nobody, as the stupid complaint goes, would have had it ‘rammed down their throats’.  If the situation were reversed and English were the less numerous of the two languages, and Ontario were the center of English Canada (all other provinces having only pockets of English), I’m sure those in Ontario would feel just as insular as many in Quebec do. Indeed, instead of belly-aching about the extra cost for Canada to be bilingual, we should embrace it, celebrate it and work to make it happen as I propose. Indeed, if we educate the next generation of very young Canadians to speak both languages, and take advantage of the fact that they’re sponges for language and knowledge, ALL of Canada benefits! I know that no child is going to be hurt achieving that worthy goal. And when we reach that goal, our country (the best in the world IMHO) would finally reach its full potential and thrive all the more…especially as the separatists are made pointless. It’s never a good idea to stand by and watch one of the world’s finest nations (ours) breaking apart.

  26. good for him!  if immigrant can demand services in their language in most federal institutions, then someone born in Canada should be  getting services in both official languages

  27. The great phony bilingual scam. Its all about jobs and money…

    The simple facts are as more francophone’s get hired for all government positions less and less English speakers are working for their own governments across the country. Don’t believe me; Go check the stats for yourself. Francophone’s are over-represented in all levels of government including hospitals, law, policing…etc. No fairness, no representation by population. They call it bilingualism, yet the term is never defined on purpose and believe me it doesn’t mean fluency in 2 languages in Canada, at least to the French it doesn’t. No political party will speak for the English speaking majority in this province and country. Practical bilingualism, where numbers warrant… is never defined on purpose. In Ontario it now means segregation. The French (they are actually metis, a mixed race, not french) are demanding French only facilities all over the province, not bilingual, French only. $ Bilingualism is really nothing more then a hiring quota for francophone’s and that is a fact…just ask yourself, why are francophone’s over-represented in all government jobs and how come more and more positions are being designated bilingual all the time? And just as important, how come they are NOT fluently bilingual? Some can barely speak English!

    Go learn our proud, real BNA and UEL history. These were the builders of our country since 1763, not this phony, revisionist lie, spin, nonsense, this bilingual, multicultural,2 founding nations, linguistic duality lie, spin, propaganda that we’ve been living with since Trudeau and Kebec (original spelling) forced this upon the nation. We’ve been part of the British Empire since 1763 and officially and English speaking country for over 200 years, again just the facts…We were never a bilingual country. This is one big expensive lie/fraud that’s been going on for over 5 decades now.  
    Liberal, Tory same old story. No party, no politician has touched this issue since it was forced upon the nation. The public has complained for decades yet the scum bag politicians remain silent. They are not listening to the people. Liberal, Tory same old story.
    ·                                  So while Quebec bans the English language (bill 22, bill 178, bill 101…), wipes out its real BNA, UEL history, while ethnic language cleansing is going on in Quebec, the rest of the country is forced to fund whatever the French (metis) demand. This is going on in every province. Go check. See what’s really going on? What are they really up to? “First Quebec, then we take over the rest of the country, one step at a time…through bilingualism…” PT, “How to take over a country through bilingualism…” SD. How? First comes the right to communicate with gov’t in a minority language (ie French),then comes bilingualism, then comes the right to work in the language of choice(ie French), then comes a bilingual boss,(ie French) then comes a exclusively French department and on it goes until its all French. Its happening all over the country, Ontario, New Brunswick… Go check the stats for yourself. 

    Time to end this phony, expensive hiring scam, this bilingual farce outside Kebec.

  28. Yes well that’s fine but what about we English speaking Canadians  when we visit Quebec do we not have the same “rights” to be served in Our language of choice. Now I havent been to Quebec for a few years but quite often when I did I hit a brick wall, and quite an offencive one, especially when I worked in Montreal. Hopefully that has changed, alas I havent as I said been there for a few years andwhen we travel to Ontario, my wife and I usually travel through the states bypassing Quebec, which I really do not want to do but discretion beingthe better part of valour!! 

  29. Canada’s Biggest Mistake
    Too many “french protection” laws.  Why is it only Air Canada that even has to follow this ludicrous law?  A condition of sale from 1988….sounds like something left over the BNA act era…..

  30. Oh great – now we have the government playing French language police.  This is crazy, to have private business subjected to this.  It will just create more animosity.  Hope the businesses that are targeted scream blue murder.   Poor Ottawa – viva Vancouver!!

    “Secret shoppers are being sent out across Ottawa to see whether the capital of this officially bilingual nation is in fact offering equal service in both English and French.

    Canada’s language commissioner Graham Fraser is dispatching the shoppers to restaurants, hotels and stores across Ottawa next month.”


  31. This guy is an idiot with too much money.  The cost of lawyers to bring suit in the Courts is extremely high and to have a fit like a spoiled child because he did not get served in “his language” is nonsense.  He gives all francophones a bad image. Thank goodness I live in the West where French is not shoved down our throats.

  32. why the hell are announcements NOT made in English as well ANYWHERE in Quebec??? I am filing a law suit to the STM in Montreal!!!!
    What a effin Dickface

  33. remeber when those ridiculously stoopod air traffic controllers in Quebec wanted to strike because they wanted the entire “WORLD” to speak Quebec-Francais for thieir ill-begotten and now-immature selfish reasons ?
     Well, guess what, of course it didn’t work for them and IT NEVER WILL !   -lol
    maybe its beacuse at 600 MPH I don’t want my pilot confused becuase of baby-arsed linguistic reasons so as to have to explain later in the hereafter why 1,000’s of people had to die because of miscommunications.

    Personally, I couldn’t care less if they needed to speak “Martian” -as long as there is clear and constant communications at all times when it comes to transpoting 100’s of “paying” consumers every second, here and there, around the world.
     This one is definitely science/physecs my dear misguided quebecois.
     Hence there is one, and only one language when it comes to busing hundreds of people (youself included) on literally 1,000’s of Jets per hour, around the world, flying at magnanomous speed.
    (that means extremely FAST, dude).
    It also means, this is “Air Canada” worldwide, and not just all the World’s Jets flying around Quebec only. wtf is wrong still with this province in Canada,… ? geez
    This should have been a non-Subject. omg.

     And now you finally know why no one, aka (all of the world) cares or listens to suicidal rampageomg Quebec-down-your-throat language culture issues when it comes to transporting over 300+ people safely on every flight around the world.
     It’s for “SAFETY” reasons,
    and NO, unfortunately for you ppl, if that ain’t a good enough reason then fine. -> you can BUY $$$, and FLY $$$ at your own risk, but remeber that those planes will be Grounded/SHOT down,’cause I (and the rest of the world) do NOT want to increase their families risk of losing their life because YOU(s) plural can’t seem to get it thru your freekin’ (any-language)heads ???!!!
    AND NO, I don’t even want to take that chance, just beacuse you have a problem with General-Human-Safety at the cost of your cultural and/or linguistic and short-lived enjoyment ?!
    get me ?, there is no pity for this -this time ’round.
     If you can’t care about yourself flying, can you atleast care about the woman and children flying in these 600+MPH aluminum-framed Bus’es ?

     Oh, I’m sorry, Thibodeau, here is your “Croissant” as you ordered in your language of choice.. Now eat it and shet the —- up! ,so we can fly and land this plane safely so that you can be safely with your family.
    Oh ya, and BTW, hey Thibodeau,
    can you please let ALL Canadians know just how much “money” you managed to snafu outta this deal ?
    comon, it’s called honesty, you gotta respect ‘dat, don’t ‘ya bud ?!

  34. Sad.  He could not get a Sprite in French.  Only one solution.  “Dear Mr. Quadaffy,  Would you please come and run Canada?  The people living here are too stupid to do it themselves.  Thank you.”  And HE gets $19,000!  Seems like this deadbeat sues to make a living at it.   Never get in a car accident with him. Hey, dude, if French is all that important to you, I have a great solution. There is this place in Europe called France….  I hear they speak French 50% of the time there.  The rest of the time they speak English or German.  (They have to. That’s how Europe is.) Enjoy.  Can’t order a Sprite in English! I wonder: Does Mr. Thibodeau file his own tax returns? And does he file them in French? He SHOULD! We should pass a Federal Law REQUIRING him to. Any idiot with high-school French could order a Sprite or a 7Up in French. But let him order “Une bonne tasse de caffee au lait, et une croisante beuree au cacao.” Besides, ordering or serving a Sprite or 7up in French is physically impossible. Both are USA English companies, who merely sell their products here. The solution is simple: “Hey Barrack? Stevie Wonder, here. Listen, we’re shutting the border. Yeah. No more English US crap in Canada, eh. Well… The Frogs are mad. Yah. And could we be paid in gold for the fuel we ship south? Thanks, dude.” That should benefit the global economy!

  35. There are so many other GOOD worthwhile causes that this young activist could be directing his energies towards.   Too bad… 

  36. I remember seeing a picture on CBC.ca in Aug. 2007… thirty years after the passage of Bill 101 – the Language Law.  It was of a Quebecois supporting the language law by carrying a sign that said:  “Au Québec, tout en français et en français seulement!” (sic) which roughly translates into “In Quebec, all in French and in French only”    Even though year after year the Federal Government tries to appease them with excess transfer payments from other provinces, patronage appointments, more than their share of grants to support French music, arts and culture and putting head offices for Air Canada etc. they still whine at how they are being ignored.   When La Belle Provence allows signs in English as well and the choice of what schools parents wish to sent their children to, then I will sympathize with this activist.

  37. I was born in Montreal, grew up in Quebec, but I now live in BC. I speak French, but not too well now because it is simply not used in BC.
    Our country is changing; the demographics; the languages, but somehow Ottawa is out of step. When a plane flies into vancouver, it is more appropriate to have the announcements in Mandarin and Punjabi, not French. Mr. Thibodeau’s claim of defending his rights is absurd. What I see is the same old, Quebecois arrogance pushing the constitution into the rediculous. I left Quebec because of their low tolerance toward Anglophones; so did all my siblings and my Aunt, as well as countless many more. if protecting a culture requires punishing a national company to enforce policy then why is it Quebec is not held accountable for their unconstitutional language laws of French only? You want to speak French that is great; but why the need to force others and cause grief?
    Grow up, dude.

  38. He lives in Ottawa.  If he is so upset that not everyone is speaking his language, let him move to Montreal, where they also mangle the language and use English words while speaking French.

    This is a person who is nothing but a trouble maker and an activist, the type of person no company would want

  39. In Spain people speak besides Castillian (Spanish), Catala, Gallician, Euskera all of them original languages from Spain.  According to the constitution anyone can asked to be served in any of those languages in the Autonomous Region where these languages are spoken but not outside those regions.  If someone goes outside the autonomous regions and find a person who speaks one of these languages the law allows these person to use the language of their choice but it is not mandatory to use one of these minority languages outside their region..  On the other hand, Castillian (know as Spanish around the world) should be spoken whenever a person wants to use it anywhere in the country, as it is the official language of the country and everyone should be able to speak it.  Canada should do the same:  Offer service in French to the people in Quebec and in the regions of New Brunswick or Ontario where French is widely spoken, but not forcing the federal government or any companies to offer bilingual service outside French speaking comunities, it is just too expensive, difficult and above all not necessary considering most to all people speak English or should learn it outside Quebec.

  40. ridiculous , on a flight between montreal to ottawa.. the flight attendant barely has time to serve all the passengers a drink. And theres this very bored , very angry man, who has no life..throwing a hissy fit over a pop…grow up!! 

  41. That is stupid, I am a francophone AC flight attendant and ALWAYS ask in both languages. We are obligated to make announcments is both official languages on EVERY flight, so I don’t know what the heck this guy is talking about! Anyways, hope he realizes this, and calms down!

  42. Time to eliminate the Official Languages Act so this nonsense can be avoided. I hope this guy pays 100% of his salary in taxes so he can pay for his personalized services. This is disgusting and his sense of entitlement is what is wrong with this country. English Canada needs to take control and decide on what basis we will allow Quebec to stay in confederation. Rise up separatists and leave!! Canada will be a stronger country for it and all those wanting to order a sprite in French can move to Quebec to maintain that right. Trying to placate Quebecers (giving francophones a sense of entitlement when living outside of Quebec) is useless and will never be achieved and this guy represents everything that is wrong with collectives efforts to keep them happy nationally. Since he is bilingual is he fighting equally as hard for English rights in Quebec? What about all those unilingual French signs buddy??

  43. How were his rights denied?  He’s billingual, he understood, and could communicate with the air canada staff.  What would he have done if he was in England? Was he this angry if he had to order a taxi in english at the Ottawa airport? The law gave him a privilege, it didn’t defend any natural individual right.   The law is discriminatory against companies, not this man.

  44. I find this disgusting as a person from Saskatchewan I have a hard time understanding the french side It cost big Dollars for the principal of being bilingual It is more diffulcult  get a job in the Federal because I do not speak French so no job. Wake up the Language of business is english not french I was Purchasing Agent who dealt all over Europe Asia Mexico only dealing in Quebec was it a problem As soon as I spoke english first in Europe Asia Mexico they ansewered in Engish amaseing money talks except for Quebec who holds the rest of Canada hostage over lanuage problems. The Us offers Spanish but not mandatory Canada Could be so much more if it dealt the majority and not the minorities I am not prejudcied or a bigot but I am tired of being pushed around my country  by people who can’t conform to the majority I help read at School with 95% aboriginal the kids get to learn when there parents let come to school and they want more please let the children learn to read and help themselves I just Minorities are out of touch with the real world try this in the middle east or China, etc.

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