Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press “Stop trying to wash your hands of it and resolve the problem as quickly as possible,” declared the lieutenant for Quebec of the Liberal government, Pablo Rodriguez, to the CRTC.
Isabelle Porter in Quebec
The federal government is losing patience over the failures of the 911 service in French. His lieutenant for Quebec, Pablo Rodriguez, criticizes the Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for “washing its hands of it”.
“Stop trying to wash your hands of this and fix the problem as quickly as possible,” Rodriguez told the CRTC on Thursday.
The minister was reacting to an article in Devoir revealing that the CRTC had no intention of reviewing its regulations to guarantee Francophones a response in French when they call 911.
As revealed by Le Devoir in spring 2023, Quebecers who use IP telephony services are sometimes answered by unilingual people English when calling 911.
This is because telephone service providers sometimes use subcontractors in Ontario.
An unacceptable situation, according to Pablo Rodriguez. “When there is an emergency and someone calls 911, every second counts. Now is not the time to wait for a translation. We talk about people's safety, sometimes it's literally a question of life and death. It is absolutely essential that a person in distress can make themselves understood in their official language. »
In Canada, the telecommunications industry falls under the CRTC, but the agency says it does not regulate “third-party call centers.” The latter, for their part, argue that they have no obligations in linguistic matters.