AC/TS Agreement Available In English Only – But That’s Going To Change
Air Canada's agreement to acquire Transat was written in English, and until last night the two Quebec-based companies did not intend to translate the 114-page document into French.
TVA Nouvelles reports that it was in English only that Transat shareholders learned they will be called no later than 26AUG to vote on Air Canada's $520 million offer.
"This is an agreement that has been signed in English, so there is no need to translate it," said Transat VP Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Christophe Hennebelle.
He told TVA Nouvelles that it was not for cost-saving reasons that Air Canada and Transat had decided not to offer a French version of the "arrangement agreement" that was filed with regulatory authorities last Friday night.
"It's a contract document, so there is one [version]," said Hennebelle. There is no point today in translating this document."
However, by the end of the day yesterday, Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur announced that "a French version has been launched and will be available soon.”
Before the about-face, Quebec’s Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, was surprised at the situation. "I hope there is a French version," he said.
Bill 101 stipulates that contracts must be drafted in French in Quebec, but specifies that they may be "in another language if that is the express wish of the parties."
The circular to be published for the Transat shareholders' meeting will be published in both official languages and will include a detailed description of the agreement.