Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy responds to legal action pursued by Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick

Brenda Murphy is officially sworn in as the 32nd lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick on Sept. 8, 2019. Government of New Brunswick

A statement has been released by the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor Monday in response to legal action being pursued by the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB).

SANB’s legal action is in relation to the linguistic requirements of the position of Lieutenant-Governor for the Province of New Brunswick, according to the office.

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The Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB) is the recognized political representative of New Brunswick’s Acadian and Francophone community, with a mission statement to defend and promote the rights and interests of the province’s Acadian and Francophone population.

“Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy understands the organization’s perspective and respects its decision to take this action,” the statement read.

“She also acknowledges the importance of being able to communicate with New Brunswickers from both official language groups.”

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“I remain committed to improving my French language skills over the course of my mandate so that I can serve both the French and English communities well,” Murphy said in a press release.

Ali Chisson is the executive director of SANB. He said the legal action was taken about two weeks ago.

“This is not about Brenda Murphy. She’s a lovely lady, but it’s about the process that led her to be nominated and that’s what we want to rectify,” said Chisson.

“There’s a list of officials that must be bilingual. For example, the auditor general must be bilingual, so at the moment there is no stipulation for New Brunswick’s Liuetnant Governor, and that’s all that we want to change.”

SANB stated on its website that “institutional bilingualism is an entrenched right in New Brunswick, as is the constitutionally guaranteed equality of both linguistic communities.”

The organization also believes that Francophone institutions should be governed for and by Acadians and that public funds dedicated to this would enable greater equality.

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“Linguistic duality, and more importantly institutional duality, are of the utmost importance in not only the preservation but also the holistic development of the Acadian community of New Brunswick,” SANB stated.

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