Canada's language watchdog going undercover at major airports
A Continental Express jet takes off at the airport in Halifax on Monday, May 24, 2010. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
Published Wednesday, August 8, 2012 10:54AM EDT
OTTAWA -- Canada's bilingualism watchdog is going undercover at eight major airports to see if travellers are served equally well in English and French.
Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser says his office will conduct more than 1,500 anonymous observations this fall at airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver.
All airports that serve more than one million passengers a year must provide services in both English and French.
The commissioner will check if signs are in both official languages, if staff offer a bilingual greeting to travellers and if services are available in French in predominantly English-speaking parts of the country and in English in French-speaking parts.
Fraser's office says the project will include observations of Air Canada's services on the ground and in the air on flights designated as bilingual.
It will also look at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority's third-party services in security areas.