People have the right to be served, no matter what their first language is.
That’s the view of the son of Hai Xia Sun, who claims she was asked to leave McDonald’s on No.3 Road and Granville Avenue last week after what the global restaurant chain is referring to as a “language barrier.”
The problem began when, after ordering a hot chocolate, Sun, 51, who’s lived in Canada for ten years, received a coffee instead.
And when she tried to have the mistake corrected, she claims she was dismissed by the manager on duty, who allegedly refused to serve Sun because staff couldn’t understand her English.
The only problem her son, Frank Zhao, has with that explanation is that he says his mother was speaking English and has never encountered an issue in ten years in the country.
“I think the point here is that people should get served no matter what their first language is,” Zhao told the News.
“My mom was speaking English, but what about tourists coming here who don’t speak English? Are they going to get refused service as well?”
Zhao said his mom, who has to speak English first in her job in a local hotel, came to Canada because of the respect the country has for different cultures.
“We respect very much the values of Canada and I actually think we have a better understanding of those values than perhaps the manager in McDonald’s, because we’ve come from a different culture,” added Zhao.
Sun and Zhao are now demanding the manager and owner of the restaurant issue a public apology not only to Sun, but also to all Canadians whose first language is not English.
Once those terms are satisfied, it will be the end of the matter. If not, “we will consider all options,” said Zhao, hinting towards taking legal action.
A spokesman for McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. said the incident was an “isolated occurrence” due to a “miscommunication” and that the company is taking Sun's allegations seriously.
“We have since been in communication with her son who has expressed appreciation for our efforts to resolve the situation,” read the statement.
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