Advertisement

Official languages should be above partisanship: New Brunswick francophone advocacy group

Robert Melanson, president of the Societe De L'acadie Nouveau Brunswick, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday it's clear the provincial government isn't interested in working in the best interests of Acadians and francophones.
Robert Melanson, president of the Societe De L'acadie Nouveau Brunswick, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday it's clear the provincial government isn't interested in working in the best interests of Acadians and francophones. Callum Smith/Global News

A week after New Brunswick’s premier said he isn’t interested in establishing a French-language secretariat in the province, a French advocacy group is firing a warning shot.

Robert Melanson, president of the Societe De L’acadie Nouveau Brunswick, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday it’s clear the provincial government isn’t interested in working in the best interests of Acadians and francophones.

READ MORE: New Brunswick languages commissioner report sparks threats to topple PC minority government

Melanson released the full statement on Facebook

Posted by SANB on Thursday, October 10, 2019

Melanson lays the blame at the feet of Blaine Higgs’s government and his decision last week to reject a report by the province’s language commissioner.

Story continues below advertisement

Michael Carrier’s report called for the formation of an official languages secretariat that would enforce bilingualism throughout the province and amend language requirements for nursing home workers.

The document was quickly met with threats to topple Higgs’ minority PC government from the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick, who said that if the government enacted recommendations in Carrier’s report they would pull their support in the legislature and bring the government down.

The People’s Alliance holds the balance of power in the legislature — with its three votes allowing Higgs and the Tories to pass bills and survive confidence motions.

N.B. still not getting bilingualism right, languages commissioner says
N.B. still not getting bilingualism right, languages commissioner says

People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin said last week he believes New Brunswick’s Official Languages Act is being taken to an extreme.

Melanson said that last week’s decision was a turning point for Acadian New Brunswick.

In his statement, he said that if the provincial and federal governments do not act soon to rectify the threats to bilingualism in New Brunswick that the province will find itself in a social crisis.