Statement by the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada on the preliminary investigation report regarding the November 3, 2021, speech by the President and CEO of Air Canada
For immediate release
Gatineau, Quebec, April 08, 2022
Raymond Théberge, Commissioner of Official Languages, made the following statement today:
As reported today, I have released a preliminary report as part of my investigation into whether Air Canada met its obligations under the Official Languages Act during the speech given by its president and CEO on November 3, 2021.
The report, which has been shared with the complainants and Air Canada, sets out my preliminary conclusions. At this time, the investigation has established that the complaints we have received are founded, both with respect to communications and services (Part IV) and the advancement of English and French (Part VII). However, these conclusions are not final; the parties involved will have the opportunity to provide comments, which I will take into consideration before preparing my final report.
Nevertheless, I would like to stress that bilingualism is a crucial skill for any leader, particularly those in institutions subject to the Official Languages Act.
- As of February 28, 2022, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has received 2,680 complaints about the almost exclusively English‑language speech given by Michael Rousseau, President and CEO of Air Canada. This is the most complaints received for a single case in the history of the Office of the Commissioner.
- The preliminary investigation report was sent to the parties (the complainants and Air Canada) for comments. Once the comments have been collected and analyzed, the final investigation report will be prepared and sent to the parties.
- We do not make our investigation reports public; we share them only with the parties involved (complainants and institutions subject to the Official Languages Act).
The Commissioner’s comments will be limited to the information in this statement; he will not be commenting on the preliminary report itself, as the investigation is ongoing.