Appeal court reduces penalty Air Canada has to pay for Engli

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JBI
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Re: Appeal court reduces penalty Air Canada has to pay for E

#26 Post by JBI » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:44 pm

The really interesting thing about this Supreme Court decision actually has nothing to do with language rights or what type of pop the bilingual passengers ordered in French. The key is that the Montreal Convention is the exclusive remedy for claims made by passengers on international flights.

The Montreal Convention (the successor to the Warsaw Convention) is the law that applies to any airline flight between most international destinations. It outlines strict liability for the airlines for certain types of claims including bodily injuries, delay, loss of baggage. Not surprisingly, it is silent on the issue of language rights.

The Air Canada Participation Act and the Official Languages Act requires Air Canada, by law, to provide bilingual service in many different circumstances, including the flight that these particular passengers were on and then provides the ability to fine the airline and/or reward the passengers. So in this situation, you have a Canadian law conflicting with an International Convention that Canada is a signatory to and has made part of Canadian Law - so what prevails?

The Supreme Court of Canada says Montreal Convention.

Also of note - many airlines, not just Air Canada, are required by law to make bilingual announcements at certain airports. Air Canada did not in some complaints by these same passengers and did not appeal the findings against them from the lower court.
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Re: Appeal court reduces penalty Air Canada has to pay for E

#27 Post by North Shore » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:38 am

JBI, does that then mean that AC could stop rendering cabin announcements in French, if they so wanted?
It's funny, a few years back, I flew from Toronto to Vancouver. There was a group of Japanese tourists on board. I'm pretty sure that most of them spoke no French at all, and rudimentary English if they were lucky. Id also be willing to bet that there were no unilingual francophones, given the route; yet all the announcements were given in both English and French. Triumph of bureaucracy over common sense..
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JBI
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Re: Appeal court reduces penalty Air Canada has to pay for E

#28 Post by JBI » Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:37 am

North Shore wrote:JBI, does that then mean that AC could stop rendering cabin announcements in French, if they so wanted?
It's funny, a few years back, I flew from Toronto to Vancouver. There was a group of Japanese tourists on board. I'm pretty sure that most of them spoke no French at all, and rudimentary English if they were lucky. Id also be willing to bet that there were no unilingual francophones, given the route; yet all the announcements were given in both English and French. Triumph of bureaucracy over common sense..


I'd have to take a read of the full legislation. I don't think it takes it as far as saying that Air Canada could ignore bilingual announcements on international flights (The Montreal Convention does not apply to domestic flights), but it definitely limits what remedies a complainant may have on those flights if they can't receive a service in either of the official languages.

Je dois prendre une lecture de la législation plein. Je ne pense pas qu'il faille aussi loin que de dire que Air Canada pourrait ne pas tenir compte des annonces bilingues sur les vols internationaux (Convention de Montréal ne concerne pas les vols intérieurs), mais il a certainement des limites quels sont les recours d'un plaignant peut avoir sur ces vols si elles le peuvent 't recevoir un service dans l'une des langues officielles.

(brought to you by google translate)
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