CANADA - Former Liberal leader, Stephane Dion, introduces bill so passengers can sue airlines for failing to take drink orders in French
Dion tabled a bill in the House of Commons on April 23, 2015 that would extend Canada's Official Languages Act to include international flights rather than just domestic ones.
Being able to order a 7-Up in French on an airplane is a fundamental Canadian right, and any Canadian should be able to sue if they are denied this right, Liberal MP Stephane Dion says.
The former Liberal leader introduced a bill in the House of Commons Thursday that would extend Canada's Official Languages Act beyond our borders, and enforce the bilingual rights of Canadians on international flights rather than just domestic ones.
The passenger's destination shouldn't matter, Dion said. "As it stands now, a Canadian citizen who has been denied service in the official language of his or her choice, when on a flight where the Official Languages Act applies, can only seek damages when the flight is domestic. The right to damages would thus apply on a Montreal-Toronto flight but not on a Montreal-Boston flight," Dion said in a statement.
Dion's bill attempts to revisit the case of Michel Thibodeau and Lynda Thibodeau, who sued Air Canada after they ordered 7-Up from a flight attendant in French and received Sprite.
The Supreme Court ruled in October the couple's experience wasn't covered by the Montreal Convention, which allows passengers on international flights to sue in the event of death, bodily injury or certain baggage claim issues.
The convention doesn't cover language law violations, but it would if Dion's amendment passes.
Earlier this year, Dion complained that all federal ministers don't tweet equally in French in English.