In case you didn’t hear already, Ottawa’s new police chief Peter Sloly, announced last week as the chief of police in Ottawa is the lucky candidate that is joining the long line of Ottawan police chiefs – and he doesn’t even know French. However, they’re going to change that immediately.
As soon as he was inducted into office, the police chief admitted to the public that no, he did not know French, but he’s ensuring that the board is putting him into classes to learn, and he will be able to learn it fluently. He regrets not being able to be a police chief that’s already fluent in the language, and he aims to do something about it, which says a lot about his character.
Most of the time, the public would be sure that the candidate who ended up getting the role as police chief would already be bilingual before they held a position that was as extremely important as this, but while they made an exception, they only did so because the police chief himself states that he wants to be judged on his character, not the fact that he doesn’t currently speak French.
Sloly does agree that it should be necessary to know both languages, as it’s a crucial and important part of not only Canada’s heritage, but also because there are many people in the country who are primarily French speaking, and that as he gets the job, he will be closely watched to ensure he knows how to fluently speak both. Before anyone should worry however, he was not the only police chief that has learned on the job how to speak the native tongue, even though the previous chief Charles Bordeleau, stepped down earlier in the year, already knew French and was a French-Canadian native.