Credits: QMI AGENCY
MONTREAL -- A 77-year-old Canadian navy veteran dying of cancer and his family say they were treated rudely by a hospital orderly last week because they spoke English.
The orderly at the Hull Hospital near Ottawa allegedly snapped at the family of patient John Gervais when he asked to use the bathroom.
Gervais' wife, Iris, told QMI Agency that the orderly had been rough with her husband and rude to the family, and he became particularly hostile after liquid from a bedside tray dripped onto the orderly's shoes.
"(The orderly) said: 'This isn't a hotel. I don't speak English; This is Quebec,'" said Iris Beeler-Gervais.
"You just don't treat people like that," Beeler-Gervais told QMI on Sunday.
Steve Long, Gervais' son-in-law, told QMI Agency that he arrived at the hospital shortly after the initial argument between his family and the orderly.
Long said he confronted the hospital worker.
"Speak to me in French! This is Quebec!" was the reply from the orderly, Long said.
Hospital staff told QMI that a representative would not be available to comment on Sunday.
However, Sylvain Dube, hospital spokesman, confirmed to a Montreal newspaper that the incident took place.
"The way that the employee spoke, it's unacceptable," Dube said.
He said the hospital is investigating the incident, but it would not suspend the orderly.
Beeler-Gervais and her daughter, Anna Coverly, told QMI that they lodged a complaint at the Hull hospital.
"We don't want to cause trouble," Coverly said. "But look what (the orderly) did in front of us, what's he going to do when we're not there?"