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Saturday, November 26, 2022

SNC-Lavalin CEO cancels Montreal speech after Air Canada boss ignites firearm

Montreal –

The head of engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has abruptly canceled a speech to Montreal’s business community because his French-language skills need some work.

Despite living in Quebec since 2014, Ian Edwards does not speak French well.

Canceling his appearance at the Canadian club in Montreal on Monday, Edwards promised to return in the new year after brushing up on his ability to speak Quebec’s main language.

Edwards says he wants to take the time needed to better prepare his presentation and make sure more French are involved.

The move comes a week after Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau sparked political fire by speaking very little French in a business speech and then told reporters he didn’t need to learn the language to come to Quebec’s largest city.

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He apologized the next day and after Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland asked Air Canada’s board of directors for senior management to make French communications a “critical criterion” and include the improvement of Rousseau’s French capabilities in its annual assessment of “French’s deepening.” agreed to undergo education”. ,

“After moving to Quebec in 2014, I took French lessons with mixed results,” Edwards wrote in a letter to the Canadian club president.

“Recently, during a meeting of our Board of Directors held in late October, I had already made the commitment to make the necessary effort to follow language training to the best of my ability.”


This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 11, 2021.

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