Senate won’t appeal court order to pay damages over unilingual drinking fountains
The Senate of Canada will not appeal a court ruling that found the upper house violated a francophone man’s language rights by utilizing English-only push-buttons on Parliament Hill drinking fountains.
The Federal Court last week ordered the Senate to pay former public servant Michel Thibodeau $1,500 in damages and to cover his $700 in court costs.
Thibodeau complained in 2016 that water fountains in the hallways of Parliament Hill’s East Block — which houses some Senate offices and committee rooms and is open for public tours during the summer — required thirsty folk to push a metal button embossed with the word “push.”
Some even included that instruction in braille but none included the French word “poussez.”
Justice Luc Martineau concluded in last week’s ruling that there is “no place in the buildings of Parliament” for “relics of the past” that give preponderance to “one official language to the detriment of the other.”
Upon receiving Thibodeau’s initial complaint, the Senate immediately posted bilingual signs above all drinking fountains in East Block, which remains open despite undergoing renovations.
“To assure progress towards the equality of status and usage of French and English, linguistic biases must be eliminated,” Martineau ruled. – canadian press
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Easiest $1,500 the guy ever made. Happen to Air Canada as well. Whoever is in charge of Federal Government water-fountain signage needs to be fired. How the water-fountain button slipped past the federal language police should be impossible.
I have to start looking around myself. A person could make a comfortable living hunting for missing French. Have to pay a visit to our elected federal representatives’ riding offices. There has to be something there.