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Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau giving a speech at the Montreal Chamber of Commerce in Montreal, Nov. 3, 2021.Mario Beauregard/The Canadian Press

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Indigenous rules

Re Crown Broke 1850 Land Treaties With First Nations, Court Rules (Nov. 9): I will celebrate this long-awaited victory when the Indian Act is struck down and ruled unconstitutional.

Reconciliation does not feel possible when people and their family history are measured by drops of blood. Individuals should be able to lay claim to a heritage and culture even if they marry and have children with people whose skin and creed are different than their own.

Emmanuelle Deaton Kanata, Ont.

Offshore emissions

Re The Urgent Need To Cap Oil Emissions (Editorial, Nov. 6): I believe the much larger problem is the climate damage done by emissions from our fossil fuels combusted abroad. Most Canadians do not realize that these downstream harms are not attributed to Canada, thanks to greenhouse-gas accounting conventions gratefully accepted by energy-exporting countries.

This puts Canada in a position similar to the drug dealer who wraps himself in a cloak of moral rectitude for keeping drugs out of his own neighbourhood, while raking in profit elsewhere.

Kenneth Avio Emeritus professor, economics, University of Victoria

Hospital mandates

Re Many Ontario Hospitals Instituting Vaccine Mandates (Nov. 6): The Globe’s reporting confirms that many Ontario hospitals want the government to mandate vaccines for health care workers, and that staffing levels are unlikely to be significantly affected. That would make government claims that a vaccine mandate would jeopardize health care totally fallacious, along with claims to have consulted with hospitals in advance of its decision.

A provincewide mandate would be better than a piecemeal approach. So who is the government protecting? It seems to be the vaccine-hesitant. A message could have been sent that vaccines matter and the government puts the safety of workers and patients first. Instead, it has chosen to pander to a small minority.

Shame on them.

Cynthia Rowden Toronto

En français

Re Freeland Presses Air Canada To Make CEO Learn French (Nov. 9): The Prime Minister has called the Air Canada CEO’s lack of bilingualism “an unacceptable situation,” and the Finance Minister has expressed her disappointment as well, notwithstanding that the government is only a minority shareholder in what is otherwise a publicly traded corporation.

Interesting that neither of them thought that being bilingual was a required skill when choosing the new Governor-General.

Mark Wayne Calgary

Living in Montreal in English is a cinch.

The last time a member of the anglophone establishment opined with such lack of inhibition about le fait français goes back to 1962, when Donald Gordon, then-president of the Canadian National Railway, said no French Canadian was fit to be on its executive. That prompted Lester B. Pearson to create the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism to investigate the status of French coast to coast to coast. Later on, Pierre Trudeau would give French Canadians a slew of cabinet postings, showing that Quebeckers could run not just a railway, but a whole country.

Now, an isolationist CAQ government seems too preoccupied with running a Quebec for nationalists to care about anything with Canada’s name on it. Up until now, that gave Air Canada’s CEO cover, if not comfort.

Howard Greenfield Montreal

In the late 1960s, I was a low-level manager in my late twenties, employed by a corporation in Montreal. I made the determination that, looking to the future, I needed either to become fluent in French or pursue my career aspirations in another province.

(In 1970, I chose the latter option and found suitable employment in Toronto.)

I am unsure which is worse: that a half-century later, Michael Rousseau seemed unable to make that same determination, or that Air Canada could promote a unilingual anglophone to such a senior position.

Rod Taylor Georgetown, Ont.

Re Speaking French Isn’t Essential For CEOs (Nov. 9): Air Canada was created by the government in 1937. Today, the airline is a company with an independent board and CEO. Proficiency in French is desirable but not a requirement to lead a Canadian company, nor should it be.

We do not expect or require heads of the Big Five banks or the Big Three telecoms to be conversant in French. A lack of French does not impair a CEO’s competence in the discharge of their duties and obligations.

It seems to me that the uproar over Michael Rousseau’s English-only speech is uncalled for.

Ashok Sajnani Toronto

I find the problem is not so much that Michael Rousseau does not speak French, but rather the arrogance and tremendous insensitivity I heard him display when interviewed after his presentation to the Montreal Chamber of Commerce. He practically bragged that he didn’t need to speak French.

Competence in financial matters does not exempt business leaders from the need to be aware of the social context in which they operate. Air Canada has a history of offering poor service to francophones. I have often flown between Toronto and Paris, and have on several occasions been unable to get in-flight service in French.

I don’t expect perfection, but Air Canada should do better.

Denis Schingh Toronto

“Apart from Quebec, do you know of a single nation on Earth where a large part of the immigrants who arrive seek to integrate into the local minority to facilitate their economic integration? Would immigrants from Pakistan prefer to integrate into the Chinese community of Toronto to improve their chances of achieving social success in Canada? If this were to happen, English speakers would be the first to want to take action to protect English.”

These words are not mine. They are those of Namedi Nahuyni, an immigrant from Senegal best known in Quebec as comedian, columnist and radio host Boucar Diouf.

I hope his words are food for thought in English Canada, particularly among commentators who are fed up with Quebec’s demands and those who believe that a law meant to defend against what many consider an existential threat is instead discriminatory.

Éric Blais Toronto

Walk this way

Re Rain Cheque (Letters, Nov. 8): A letter-writer sometimes slows down to 90 kilometres an hour while driving to the cottage; another sometimes doesn’t drive to the cottage at all when the weather’s awful. I’ve got them both beat: I’m a senior and I walk, ride my bike or take public transit.

I haven’t owned, rented or ridden in a car in more than a quarter of a century.

Angel Gonsalves Toronto

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: