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yyz717
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AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 1:53 pm

Canada is in the midst of a federal election campaign with a vote date of June 28th. The poll-leading Conservative party announced today that if elected they will introduce legislation to amend the Air Canada Act to enable:
1. AC to abandon the inefficient and discriminatory forced bilingual policy of French speaking service on all flights,
2. AC to relocate its HQ from YUL it is so chooses to do.

This is fantastic news for AC!

AC's route network has less than 10% of flights/route pairs serving French-speaking cities (primarily YUL, but also YQB, YQM, CDG, POP) yet currently ALL flights must contain 100& bilingual (English/French) staff. This is horrendously inefficient not to mention highly discriminatory as 71% of Canadians only speak English (not French). Of course French-speaking services will be maintained where they are commercially warranted.

Moreover, the HQ in YUL is an anachronism from when YUL was AC's largest market (surpassed by YYZ in 1964). A movement of the HQ to YYZ (for instance) would attract new mgmt talent that is obviously not available in YUL.

No mention is made of the requirement for AC to maintain mx bases in 3 cities -- this also needs to be de-legislated.

The 33k AC employees who are hoping for AC's survival hopefully will vote Conservative to ensure that these efficiencies are enacted.

All of this is contingent on the Conservatives being elected, and AC surviving -- it remains North America's highest cost airline with militant unions & incompetent mgmt, and it remains in bankruptcy close to liquidation.

This has been widely reported on radio this evening. I do not have an internet reference yet.


I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
SafeFlyer
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:04 pm

But unfortunately, the Conservatives are not going to form a majority government so this is not going to happen. The "forced" bilingual policies are by no means discriminatory. They only ensure that French speaking flyers will get service in their language, on Canada's largest airline. It's important to have bilingual services from YYZ and YVR as much as from YUL, because AC works on a hub-and-spoke system. They are many connecting passengers from YUL, YQB and YOW that wants and deserve bilingual service.

As for the ability to relocate from YUL, well, you have been speaking the same old record for 2, 3 years now? Those statements do not surprise me at all and it's by no means "fantastic news" like you say. It will only frustrate Quebeckers, probably AC's most loyal customers.

'Safe
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:14 pm

The "forced" bilingual policies are by no means discriminatory.

They are indeed discriminatory when 71% of Canadians are ineligible to apply for FA positions because they speak English-only.

It's important to have bilingual services from YYZ and YVR as much as from YUL, because AC works on a hub-and-spoke system.

Who are you to decide what's important for YYZ & YVR? That is arrogant! Let the market place decide. YYZ & YVR have larger Spanish-speaking populations that French-speaking anyway.

They are many connecting passengers from YUL, YQB and YOW that wants and deserve bilingual service.

If they are connecting to an English-speaking city, then there is a 100% chance they must speak English. "Deserve" is a motherhood word anywayv - it means nothing.

It will only frustrate Quebeckers, probably AC's most loyal customers.

Canada's 2 largest air markets by far are YYZ and YVR -- hence these markets are far more important to AC than YUL.

Let the market place rule.







I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:23 pm

Here's the first online article I can find.

http://www.680news.com/news/national/article.jsp?content=n061927A

Clearly, AC should be able to offer language services as dictated by the market place, not a meddling Liberal government.

This Conservative proposal is completely logical. It will help AC achieve greater levels of efficiency; hire staff more reflective of Canadian diversity (who are overwhelmingly English-speaking only) and tap into a larger mgmt talent pool if the HQ relocates.



I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
SafeFlyer
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:23 pm

Well, of course, I knew the response would come quickly  Smile/happy/getting dizzy . And it did!
The market place cannot rule everything but that really depends on one's point-of-view. Mine is clear and so is yours. It's just like the election: I'm not a Jack Laton closet fan, you are Big grin .
 
jjbiv
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:23 pm

The forced language policy is not so much discriminatory as it is inefficient. Inefficiencies are hardly welcome in the airline business in these trying economic times. It certainly gives me perspective on where the U.S. stands on the spectrum of government regulation. It will be interesting to see how the U.S. deals with the growth of Spanish speaking individuals as they become the predominant minority group.

joe
 
iflyatldl
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:29 pm

YYX717: I've always wondered about that myself. Even as a former YULer, it just seemed wasteful to have an entire crew dedicated to speaking French as well as English. I know many F/A's speak other languages besides English and French, but it's kind of like having a Sweedish only speaking flight crew on AA flying LAX-HNL. OR- How many pax flying YOW-YVR(for example) are really going to need the whole crew to answer that one remote French question?  Big grin
Ah, Summer, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox and Beer.....
 
Whiteguy
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:38 pm

Only one member of the crew has to be bilingual, not everybody.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:43 pm

Only one member of the crew has to be bilingual, not everybody.

Which is still one member too many on routes such as YVR-LAX, YYZ-LHR, YHZ-BOS, YYC-ORD and the other 90% of flights that do not stop in YUL, YOW, YQB or YQM.

but it's kind of like having a Sweedish only speaking flight crew on AA flying LAX-HNL. OR- How many pax flying YOW-YVR(for example) are really going to need the whole crew to answer that one remote French question?

I agree completely. Let's help AC by abolishing all these inefficiencies. The Conservatives are willing to help AC in this regardv -- the Liberals are not.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
yegbey01
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:54 pm

yyz717,

I disagree with everything you said...... Are you suggesting that poeple would not go to Montreal to work for Air Canada... I wonder how they have attracted their CEO's in the past (who happened to be Americans)...

It's actually a bonus to have bilingual staff....This is a bilingual country... You have to accept the fact that there are french speaking people in this country. This is not an inefficiency, it's a cost of business. If you can't provide such service, don't operate.. but don't call it an inefficiency.
 
eddieho
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:59 pm

In fact, the forced language policy is DISCRIMINATORY... and against the constitution

A/C may be allowed to prefer a bilingual over a monolingual, but it may not prevent monolinguals from applying, nor may they have policies about language...
 
JetRanger2000
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 3:03 pm

Well, it sounds like there are francophones that take advantage of the bilingual flight crew all across Canada. But it also seems that there are lots of potental employees turned away because they don't speak French. Sounds like a two-way street.

Though isn't Air Canada's headquaters in Quebec?
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 3:04 pm

Are you suggesting that poeple would not go to Montreal to work for Air Canada...

Absolutely! Very few English-Canadians would move to YUL simply because of the language issue.

It's actually a bonus to have bilingual staff....

A bonus to who? Certainly not the shareholders. AC is a business -- it should not be a social service providing employment to francophones. Let the market place rule.

You have to accept the fact that there are french speaking people in this country.

I do! Airlines can provide french speaking service in those markets -- YUL/YOW/YQM/YQB -- but it is not necessary at all in other markets.

This is not an inefficiency, it's a cost of business. If you can't provide such service, don't operate..

So are you saying that Westjet, Canjet, Skyservice should shut down? It's not a cost of business when flights from YYC-YVR require French speaking FA's due to a govt directive. It is absolutely an inefficiency, not to mention very discriminatory.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 3:05 pm

But it also seems that there are lots of potental employees turned away because they don't speak French.

Exactly. This is very discriminatory, and arguably racist.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 3:09 pm

i don't live in canada and i don't speak french. i can't see what all the fuss is about.

air canada will still deal with their french speaking customers in french.

it is unfair that air canada is required to operate this way. no other canadian carriers have this as a requirement of doing business.

Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
eddieho
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 3:12 pm

You know, there's probably more asian speaking people in the country than french (at least in toronto)
 
captaingomes
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 4:26 pm

The Air Canada Act is a complete waste. There should not be an "Act" at a private enterprise. Either it is a crown corporation, or it is a private corporation. You cannot possibly have some sort of a hybrid structure without having serious issues as a result.

Given that, if AC moves its headquarters, it would move to Alberta most likely, where the corporate tax rates are lower than elsewhere in Canada. For a company the size of Air Canada, the savings could be beneficial. However, I'll disagree with Neil on the talent issue, because I feel that top management, who set the strategy for the company, come from wherever, and that is based more on compensation, and other factors, rather than where the company is based in. Even being based in Montreal, a large portion of management is sourced from Toronto, and a number of other places.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
EZYcrew
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 5:55 pm

Discriminatory?????? Come on!!!! Then I guess you assume that it would be okay to hire f/a's in YUL who only speak French??

We have the same policies here at LX. As the national airline of a multi-lingual country, f/a's MUST speak German, French and English. Most speak Italian and other languages as well.
What sets Canada apart from the US, among other things, is that it has a strong English and French cultural history. Air Canada being the national airline of Canada, and taypayers from all Provinces having to support the bankrupt carrier, I think it's only fair that its staff represents the cultural values and differences of most Canadians.

Being an f/a is not for everyone. You must be en open-minded individual and you must be able to communicate in your passengers main languages. If you can't speak 2 or 3 languages, then apply for another position or learn! I've done it, 1000's of people have done it... it's not so hard!
 
Tolosy
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:12 pm



Ezycrew, well said!

One of the strenghts of Canada (there are many more of course) is your bilingual culture. I have flown AC many times between canada and California and I really appreciated the fact that service was bilingual. I speak both french and english but many passengers on these flights do not speak english but a latin language, therefore they all appreciate the announcement in French.

Some should bear in mind that AC is an international airline and that all the passengers do not speak english. Cabin annoucement should be in 2 languages at least. I am not saying that the second announcement should be in french. But in Canada, a second announcement in French seems more apropriate. Not only french people would understand it but also most of the people from latin speaking countries.

All airlines should be able to commicate in two or three languages at least. As mentionned by Ezycrew, it is a requirement for FA.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:36 pm

Then I guess you assume that it would be okay to hire f/a's in YUL who only speak French??

Sure, but they would be restricted to YUL-CDG/POP/YQB.

As the national airline of a multi-lingual country, f/a's MUST speak German, French and English.

Canada is different from Luxembourg. Canada is basically an English-speaking country with a French-speaking minority.

Air Canada being the national airline of Canada, and taypayers from all Provinces having to support the bankrupt carrier, I think it's only fair that its staff represents the cultural values and differences of most Canadians.

You made several bad assumptions here:
1. AC is not a "national airline". Canada does not have a "national airline". AC is merely the largest of several private sector carriers in Canada.
2. Taxpayers no longer support AC.
3. For AC to represent the "cultural values and differences of most Canadians" would mean that most FA's SHOULD speak English-only. A trip on AC now suggests that Canada is a French-speaking country populated mostly by white pur laine Quebecois, based on the FA demographics. The hiring/staffing policies of AC are as discriminatory as those of SAA during the apartheid era when only white FA were hired.




I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:46 pm

All airlines should be able to commicate in two or three languages at least. As mentionned by Ezycrew, it is a requirement for FA.

Then I guess every single US carrier and Canadian carrier should shut down since the FA's largely speak only English (except AC). Hate to burst your bubble but North America is an English world. English is the sole lingua franca here. English is the only requirement for any job in almost all North America, save AC FA's which is ridiculous.

many passengers on these flights do not speak english

In North America? NO way -- virtually all pax speak English. Save the odd traveller from elsewhere.

I have flown AC many times between canada and California and I really appreciated the fact that service was bilingual.

Well, that's nice but that "bilingual appreciation" discriminates against the English majority in Canada.



I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
EZYcrew
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:50 pm

717 :

LX is not from Luxemburg...it's Swiss International airlines and Switzerland is not that different from Canada when it comes to national languages.

French speakers to be restricted to YUL-YQB/POP/CDG flights??? What??? that's BS!!! Then English speaking f/a's should only be allowed cross-borders and UK flights, too????

Air Canada not the national carrier of Canada? What??!! Just because it has been privatized doesn't mean it's not your national airline! AC was built into a flag carrier for the last 70 years and wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Canadian politicians protecting it and killing the competition until the past 5 or 10 years.

I've been to Canada often, and have both English and French speaking friends there. I know very well the kind of hate both sides have for the other. This exists too in Switzerland and Belgium, for example.
But you must be careful when you compare AC hiring policies with Apartheid in South Africa. That comment, particularly, is totally out of proportion, and may be totally offending to those who really suffer from racism.
 
EZYcrew
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:54 pm

Yyz717

You're right,
most North American flight attendants have extremely mediocre, if non-existent language skills.
Except AC. Which puts it in a league above the rest, thanks to it's bilingual policy.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:02 pm

But you must be careful when you compare AC hiring policies with Apartheid in South Africa. That comment, particularly, is totally out of proportion, and may be totally offending to those who really suffer from racism.

I stand by my comment. Since AC is forced to hire E/F FA's and so few English Canadians speak French, an overwhelming proportion of AC FA's are white pur laine Quebecois.

AC's largest hub is YYZ -- perhaps 5% of YYZ residents speak French, yet the other 95% of YYZ residents are ineligible to work as AC FA's at the YYZ hub due to their lack of French. Hence, a high proportion of YYZ-based FA's are pur laine Quebecois. This is discrimination and racist. This is no different than the white-only hiring practices of SAA during Apartheid.

Vote CONSERVATIVE -- put an end to this discrimination, and help AC be a more efficient carrier.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:04 pm

most North American flight attendants have extremely mediocre, if non-existent language skills. Except AC. Which puts it in a league above the rest, thanks to it's bilingual policy.

Well, that forced bilingual policy is one of many factors that has driven AC into bankruptcy.

Let the market place rule.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
LJ
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:11 pm

most North American flight attendants have extremely mediocre, if non-existent language skills. Except AC. Which puts it in a league above the rest, thanks to it's bilingual policy.

Well, that forced bilingual policy is one of many factors that has driven AC into bankruptcy.


Okay, explain to me why the policy has driven AC into bankruptcy. Do billingual FA's earn more (and thus FA's at AC are paid by the number of languages they speak)? if so, why not scrapping the "language premium" but remaining the policy.

However I do agree with the fact that it shouldn't be a law put on the airline by the national government. I do feel that AC itself should have this policy as it shouldn't cost any money but does add value.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:16 pm

Okay, explain to me why the policy has driven AC into bankruptcy.

It is just one of many factors that has increased inefficiency for AC. AC has to transfer Quebecois to work in the YYZ market, rather than hire in YYZ exclusively for the YYZ hub.



I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
nickofatlanta
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:08 pm

Reply 7 notes that only one FA on each flight needs to speak French as well as English. If this is correct, I do not understand what the big fuss is. If every FA needs to be bilingual that is entirely different.

Seems that having one FA onboard all flights who speaks French is similar to having a couple of FAs who speak Chinese on flights to China, a couple who speak Portuguese on flights to Brazil etc. It's a convenience to passengers.
 
scf158
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:16 pm

What about WS, dont they have the same policy? it seems to me that there has to be at least 1 french speaker on board WS flights. Perhaps I am wrong... But if im right, would AC be the only canadian airline to stop this policy?
 
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longhauler
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:42 pm

Actually that IS the point.

Air Canada is the only airline in Canada REQUIRED to have a bilingual policy, and that is the point. Only Air Canada must have a bilingual Flight Attendant on ALL flights regardless of the destination/origin. Only Air Canada must have all manuals, all forms, all written correspondence in both official languages.

Not Westjet, not Canjet, not Jetsgo, not Kelowna Flight Craft, etc. Of course, all of these airlines correctly staff their aircraft when flying within French markets.

I recall when Hollis Harris took over the helm of Air Canada in the early 90s and did amazing things with cost cutting. One of his aims was to quantify the cost of bilingualism within Air Canada. (At the time, it was 100% private). He was quietly and politely reminded, that in Canada it is ILLEGAL to put a cost on bilingualism!!!!!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
David T
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:48 pm

Interesting to note that it was during the "Progressive Conservative" reign of Brian Mulroney that Air Canada was fully privatized in 1989. (I think it all started in 1985, Royal assent in 1988) Going forward, we have the "Conservative" Party now dissecting the Air Canada Public Participation Act. My how times have changed, and changed they have! You have to understand politics, provincial-federal relations and bilingualism in the 70's and 80's which lead the to "Act" as we know it today.

British Airways does not have an "act" (so far as I know), which was also privatized around the same time, and also by a conservative. (Thatcher) But BA does not operate in a national climate like Canada.

It made sense back then, but no longer can place a handicap on Air Canada and needs amendment, which needs a vote in the house, and with the Bloq which will win a large number of seats in Quebec, and if the Conservatives have a minority, there really is not much that will be passed in the House of Parliament with a minority government. (In other words, I don't believe the Conservatives can wine a majority)

Also, take a look at the below attachment... Making reference to the "Official Languages Act".



"After the combination of Canadian Airlines with Air Canada, some customers became concerned about our ability to provide services in both official languages. Our post-Sept. 11 staff and capacity cutbacks sharpened this concern. I have assured the Commissioner of Official Languages as well as the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Official Languages that Air Canada is focused on meeting its responsibilities under the Official Languages Act. An agreement I signed with the Canadian Auto Workers to reinforce the delivery of bilingual services at our airports will be followed shortly by an action plan with concrete measures to enhance our commitment."

Robert Milton, Air Canada's annual report 2001

Download the Linguistic Action Plan.
(506KB - linguistic-action-plan.pdf - Last updated: May 16, 2003)
 
Flying Belgian
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:55 pm

In Belgium there are very strict rules on language use.

We must speak fluently French and Dutch our national languages and of course english and this in any Belgium registred carriers we apply for. Hence, all companies use the english in their Internal communication system. I find this very fair.

I find this normal. I assume the Swiss ahve the same rules: French, German, English + the asset of the Italian knowledge !!

The real problem is that english speaking Canadians have mostly poor language skills relying on the power of the english language worldwide. So the big weakness is in their side.

But I guess AC has to cut costs by any meanings...

FB.

[Edited 2004-06-20 14:56:23]

[Edited 2004-06-20 15:02:37]
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cayman
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Sun Jun 20, 2004 11:48 pm

This debate should NOT be about the merits (or lack thereof) of wildly politically correct Canadian federal language policies--

It is quite simple: AC is NOT a government owned entity. It is a publicly traded company of which the investors are private citizens, funds, companies, investors. Only in Canada would there even exists such a ludicrous idea of having a privately owned airline supposedly set up to compete in the marketplace but hamstrung by being an instrument of the federal government's social engineering projects.

By all means, where the routes justify it, there should be plenty of bilingual staff at all levels--

The reactionary left wing types are already trying to jump all over this claiming Conservative "hidden agenda" and other such bollocks. In fact, if you read the article on ctvnews.ca, you will see that the Conservtaive transportation critic promises to come up with a more workable bilingual policy to be applied evenly and failry to all airlines--fine with me. But such an idea is clearly far too logical for the sky is falling Toronto Star reading left wing types--

The other amazing hypocrisy will come from those that cried for some sort of massive government cash bailout for Air Canada. Some of them will now scream over this. Well this is the best thing the govt could do is to level the playing field for Air Canada, not government handouts. For the record, I have many times expressed my support of AC and I hope they do well.

If I were a stakeholder in AC, I'd be saying let's call a spade a spade--if the federal government (Liberal) feels AC ought to be obligated to waste huge sums on ridiculous policies, then they should bankroll them. I want Paul Martin to stand up and announce that his government will hand out cash to AC in order to require them to have bilingual staff available on flights from Lethbridge to Calgary, or bilingual French English staff on new flights from YYZ to CCS or BOG--I want Martin to stand up and stop preaching about how he is the great defender of canadian values--and I want him to announce to the electorate that that is one way he intends to spend their money.
 
AA767400
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:17 am

Yyz717, It's PAP, not POP. POP Is Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. PAP Is Port au Prince, Haiti, where they speak French.

Jjbiv, Hispanic Spanish speakers in the United States, are the predominant minority group in the United States. In fact, By the year 2120, it is estimated that Hispanics will be the largest group in the United States, surpassing Whites.
"The low fares airline."
 
northstardc4m
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:51 am

Well... in a few ways, you are right, however you are also very wrong...

1st off, many of you seem to think Quebec is the only area in Canada where people speak french as their primary language. That is VERY VERY wrong. New Brunswick is the only officially BILINGUAL province, and a very many people there speak french. Labrador is largely french. And most importantly NORTHERN ONTARIO (you know, the OTHER side of the map, what you think it ends at Orillia)? is PRIMARILY french in many, even most, areas, and i mean primarily as in walk into a store, buy a coke, you'll hear: "un-soixante et quinze s'ill vous plait" not "That comes to one-seventy-five". I know many flights from Timmins, Sudbury and North Bay have heavily french passenger loads. I also know all Air Canada Jazz flights from those places go to YYZ, not YUL, not YQB, YYZ. I once withnessed a NON-bilingual F/A on Canadi>n Regional trying to talk to an obviously very french elderly lady, the result was shall we say, comical. Luckily her seat mate was bilingual and managed to translate for them. However, in an emergency, i cannot see how that flight attendant would of been able to help that person.

Now, many companies in this country have a "hire bilingual" policy. I fail to see why this is such a big deal quite frankly, or how it wastes money? As far as i know AC has NEVER had a shortage of flight attendant applicants? As someone who is bilingual i know its an advantage in the job market. And even IF Air Canada drops the requirement, those that are bilingual will get prefference over those that are not, value of skills always drives the hiring process.

Now i agree AC should be allowed to hire who it likes. The ACAct should be shredded and fed to a suitable toilet IMHO. But french has been part of this country for 137 years, i fail to see why its so bad now.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
flyyul
Posts: 4394
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:25 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:13 am

This thread, once again, is complete rubbish. Its complete conservative navel-gazing, a political movement that is almost extinct around the world, except for here in Alberta and in George Dubya land.

Here we have a right-wing conservative YYZ717, who would rather militarize space then fix the social issues, and political issues in his own country. He could care less about the rights of minorities. Thank god the conservatives wont even come close to a majority government.

1.) Air Canada, based in Montreal, is already a bonus. Salaries in Montreal, and cost of operations are about 20-25% cheaper than any other Canadian city of its size.

2.) Bilingual flight attendants allow Air Canada to have the maximum efficiency in route planning, crew planning, and irregular operations. One flight attendant can start his or her day in YXY, and make their way over to CDG on YULCDG, without worrying about the complex logistics of language issue.

3.) I assume Air Canada doesnt have the finances to make a move to YYZ, a costly matter.

4.) IF Air Canada wanted to, it could move all operations out of Montreal to Toronto, except for top-management. But alas, there seems to be much more than that here.

5.) Air Canada customer loyalty in Quebec is excellent. And the reason why they continue to fly Air Canada over other carriers, is mostly due to the fantastic bilingual service that is provided.

More and more, I am completely marvelled by the anti-Quebec sentiment by Canadians in this country. Bilingualism is one of the proud stones of this country's heritage.

God bless Alberta.

 
cayman
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 2:28 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:18 am

NorthStarDC4M

It is not clear who you are directing your comments at--?

However I for one am well aware that there is a large French presence in Northern Ontario, as well as NB, Manitoba and other parts of the country. That is exactly the point, the airlines (and ALL of them that want to serve these areas) should have adequate arrangements in place to respect the market. The proposed Conservative policy, though not detailed, would hopefully ensure that indeed there would be services in French where appropriate.

Tell me, who has said anything about French being "so bad now" using your words. That is precisley the problem with this debate in Canada. The Trudeapian idealists have established a norm where to even suggest that bilingualism could be better served by a less bureacratic, less state intervervensionist model-well that is somehow attacking the "fabric of Canada."

The Liberals are already up to their unbelievably cynical tricks of trying to couch this as anti-Quebec, anti French, Conservative "hidden agenda" and morons that read the Toronto Star may buy it. Their arrogance is stunning. Instead of making false and outrageous hot button allegations about Harper, I want Paul Martin to stand up and admit that the "anti Canadian" policy that Harper is talking about with respect to AC is a better model delivery of bilingual services. Tell the people of Canada (the vast majority of whom have NO idea of the state mandated AC bilingualism requirement) that Harper is "un-Canadian" in that he thinks AC ought to have an equal playing field in the market and that all airlines ought to be treated the same.

But watch what we will get--more media created controversy about an apparently "controversial" idea rather than any cogent discussion whatsoever about the real issue.

AC employees, for the good of your airline--vote Conservative--the Liberals have done nothing for you and never will. The Conservatives may, one hopes, at least create a market place that gives your company a better opportunity to survive and thrive. Or, just do what the Toronto Star has been telling you for the last 4 weeks. Re-elect a corrupt arrogant tired and cynical regime.
 
Skyteam10001
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:32 pm

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:20 am

Honestly I don't want to even give my opinion on this topic, which is certainly aviation related but more canadian politics related than anything else. This is really not the place for this kind of debate.

the comments on reply 23 are absolutely appaling, and I should say, even if I haven't been on this forum that long, really out of place here.

Moderators, this thread should be deleted or at the very least edited
 
flyyul
Posts: 4394
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:25 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:21 am

"The ACAct should be shredded and fed to a suitable toilet IMHO. But french has been part of this country for 137 years, i fail to see why its so bad now."

-1.) The AC act perhaps is an old and inefficient piece of legislature.

But in my humble and attempted unbias opinion, it helps AC in logistical efficiency in order to match staff with crew. And if AC being moved to YYZ helps them in any way, someone please supply the evidence

-2.) Did you know that the majority of JetsGo and Air Transat crews are bilingual, then why ARE THEY NOT GETTING THE SAME TYPE OF TREATMENT by the conservative worshipping posters on this board.


 
flyyul
Posts: 4394
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:25 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:26 am

Vote conservative

1.) Lets go to war in Iraq

2.) Lets disgard of the minorities in Canada, and let the white man rule

3.) Let us reduce taxes, so the poor education and health systems of Canada continue to get their share of public chopping

4.) Let us embrace the United States of America and their fantastic leader George Bush

5.) Let us not follow the fantastic social and political systems of Europe.

6.) Let us not respect gays and abortionist.


Real clever Cayman

 
flyyul
Posts: 4394
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:25 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:31 am

"AC's largest hub is YYZ -- perhaps 5% of YYZ residents speak French, yet the other 95% of YYZ residents are ineligible to work as AC FA's at the YYZ hub due to their lack of French. Hence, a high proportion of YYZ-based FA's are pur laine Quebecois. This is discrimination and racist. This is no different than the white-only hiring practices of SAA during Apartheid. "

-Neil... you really dropped the ball on this.

For the AC flight attendnat positions, they asked English and ONE OTHER LANGUAGE (specifically german, cantonese, japanese, french, and spanish)

Your rhetoric is absolutely sickening.... perhaps some other country would better suit your political views.



[Edited 2004-06-20 18:46:22]
 
cayman
Posts: 739
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RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:36 am

FLYYUL

The extent to which you reveal your immaturity and gullibility in that post boggles the mind.

I agree with SkyTeam10001, this has now turned into an inappropriate political debate. The issue is, howver, a valid aviation topic as it realtes to the place of AC in the canadian aviation industry.

Once again, reactionaries on a.net have twisted this issue and painted anyone who does not toe their line as right wing rubbish.

 
flyyul
Posts: 4394
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:25 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:38 am

Cayman,

Again your clearly demonstrate your extremist views. You clearly think that a conservative govt would help Air Canada, when the exact same party has its pockets lined with WestJet interest.

Obviously you have a naive, and perhaps greedy lifestyle.

 
kaitak
Posts: 8935
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:47 am

Sacre bleu, zut alors, pepe le pew and other naughty French expressions. Je suis etonne!

Ich bien pas un Canadien, may ich spricht both langues perfectemento - et je travail pour un banque Canadien.

Mais serieusement, mes amis, they do go un peu overboard by making them translate the technical manuals into French, n'est-ce pas? We have un probleme similar in Ireland; while Aer Lingus hasn't been forced to translate their manuals into Irish, the Irish education system obviously involves quite a lot of Irish; it used to be the case that people doing exams through Irish would get a 10% bonus and Irish language exams, for many years, have included an autobiography of a woman from a remote island. So where's the link avec Canada?

If things are forced, they cause resentment. I like Irish; it's part of my culture, but the way it was taught caused resentment and did more harm than good. In Canada, French is spoken mostly, if not completely, in Quebec. By all means require a second language (most international airlines do), but it shouldn't have to be French.

Bon chance! Vive L'Air Canada libre.

 
cayman
Posts: 739
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 2:28 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:22 am

FLYYUL--

I don't think creating a level playing field is an "extremist view". You have your political views, and I mine--let's decide to respect them and leave them out of this. I fully respect your right to vote as you wish.

Let's get back to the issue. Without calling me an extremist, tell me on what possible basis the stakeholders of AC ought to foot the bill of mandatory seamless bilingual policy? If the company could provide adequate bilingual services where necessary and appropriate such that nobody is left without access to their language, and could be more efficient and hence profitable, why should the federal govt REQUIRE AC to perform in a way that nobody else in the industry has to?

I have seen you to be an AC supporter and I certainly am--so why should AC bear the brunt of the federal govt's language policy?

Or, do you suggest that al the airlines should be subject to the same policy?
 
flyyul
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:25 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:29 am

Cayman,

You make it seem as if Air Canada is riddled with this crazy bilingualism weight on their back. Your identifying a myth or not a reality

-AC requires 1 bilingual flight attendnat per flight.

-AC requires 2 languages, one must be english, the next can be any of the french, cantonese, japanese, german and spanish

-AC is the largest airline serving Quebec, and has the biggest operations within Quebec and a number of french canadian communities.

Meanwhile...

-All JetsGo flight attendants are bilingual, while most of Air Transat's staff is French Canadian for the love of god.

Also Meanwhile

-While going through monster.ca for jobs in Toronto, a good portion of them asked for bilingual staff. Now, ARE THEY DISCRIMINATORY?

Food for thought.

 
northstardc4m
Posts: 2724
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 11:23 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:30 am

alright Cayman, here's the flaw with your argument:

Without calling me an extremist, tell me on what possible basis the stakeholders of AC ought to foot the bill of mandatory seamless bilingual policy?

what bill? how can you honestly say hiring bilingual costs more than not? How does not hiring bilingually save money? Would someone PLEASE explain this?

Seems to me that AC pays what the union agreements demand. The union would negotiate the same wages regardless of spoken languages. If im wrong here, please tell me why?
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
Cessnapimp
Posts: 1245
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2001 11:46 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:31 am


I think the only time that French was a requirement for hire was during the 2002 hiring round. That was done to even things out a little bit, as at the time Air Canada was receiving numerous complaints about the lack of services in French onboard. They had to react and they did. That being said, the Air Canada act IS a joke for a private enterprise that has to respond to shareholders, and compete against carriers that do not have one hand tied behind their backs.

On the other hand, I do not think that even the elimination of the Air Canada act would change much to the current hiring policies for front line (bottom of corporate tree) positions. Even the most performant American fortune 500 companies that have subsidiaries here in Canada demand here, in Toronto, staff that speak both official languages. They understand somehow, the importance of dealing with the client in their language in order to make lotsa money!

C'mon, there's gotta be myriads of examples from members here that are out there, on the international buisness scene where a deal was struck because "dude happened to speak (insert language here) like me!"

In this world of globalisation, facility in communication is worth its weight in gold, and with the abolition of the AC act, this carrier would have carte blanche to hire whomever they like. It won't be far from what's happening now... as you stated Mark.
 
flyyul
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:25 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:32 am

Lastly,

AC sends many a French speaking pax through YYZ, to destinations around the world. Its important that this be remembered.

 
Tolosy
Posts: 341
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 2:14 am

RE: AC: Forced Bilingual Policy May End Soon

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:38 am

Choose your side.

On one side, you want more capitalism and a new legislation which will give more liberties to AC and therefore allow the airline to be free from the bilingual requirement.

But on the other side, it means that the airline will have to employ the best FA which have all the qualities required to provide an excellent service to AC international customers. Those who have worked hard and therefore speak more than one language.


In my opinion, the new system will be even more discriminatory and in favour of bilingual applicants.