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O'Toole criticizes Air Canada CEO for French-language debacle

O'Toole tweeted that "a person who occupies such a managerial position at Air Canada should ensure that they are fluently bilingual."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole has criticized the CEO of Air Canada for his inability to speak French.

O'Toole tweeted, in French, that "a person who occupies such a managerial position at Air Canada should ensure that they are fluently bilingual."

The CEO stumbled into a French-language issue on Thursday after a reporter asked him why he couldn't speak French after living in Montreal for the last 14 years.

The CEO responded by saying "I would love to speak French, while my family has a French background, but right now my priority is ensuring Air Canada gets back to where they were."

He then managed to step on one the greatest landmine in the North American continent by saying he was "able to live in Montreal without speaking French and I think that’s a testament to the City of Montreal."

Immediately after this, Quebec's Premier Francois Legault demanded that the CEO should apologize for not taking French lessons while living in Montreal.

"I watched the video of Mr. Rousseau and I find it insulting. It makes me angry, his attitude, to say that it's been 14 years since he's been in Quebec and he did not need to learn French," said Legault. "It's unspeakable, it shocks me."

The CEO has since apologized for his remarks.

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