Alberta Mirror

Thursday, December 9, 2021

SNC-Lavalin CEO delays Montreal speech to gain time to add French

Key takeaways: 

  • The conclusion comes after Air Canada’s CEO drew widespread censure for being not able to speak French. 
  • SNC Lavalin’s Lan Edwards has stayed in Quebec since 2014. 
  • He explains he took French Courses with combined results. 

SNC Lavalin CEO to postpone his speech as he tries to speak more French: 

SNC-Lavalin’s CEO and president Ian Edwards was expected to deliver a speech in Montreal on Monday, but he delayed it to the coming year to make sure it includes more of Quebec’s official language. 

“I want to take the necessary time to better prepare my presentation and make sure that it contains more French,” said Edwards in a statement Thursday. Source – cbc.ca

“The recent events surrounding the place given to the French language in Canadian and Quebec companies have led me to make this decision.” Source – cbc.ca

Edwards was slammed to deliver the speech to the Canadian Club, a business community. He was to negotiate SNC-Lavalin’s alteration in modern times, according to the club’s website. 

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The speech’s delay comes a week after Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau gave a 26-minute speech at Montreal’s Palais des Congres that had only about 20 seconds of French. 

Rousseau stated his understanding of the language is fair, but he grapples to speak it in spite of staying in Quebec for 14 years. 

That caused swift censure from federal and regional politicians and numerous Quebec commentators. Rousseau has since expressed his regret and committed to upgrading his French. 

Edward states he completely understands “the Quebec reality and the importance for our employees, customers and partners of providing a respectful workplace for all.” Source – cbc.ca

He states the firm has a “francization committee” that is working to improve “our ways of doing things in terms of the place and use of French.” 

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