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An open letter to the anti-bilingualism Facebook group

After my last column I was surprised to find that people actually read what I write. I have an audience. Cool! I shouldn’t take all the credit though. I did get to ride on the coattails of SEXtravaganza and an awesome headline after all. Seriously, though. Thanks for reading.

This article isn’t about my incredulity. It’s about the elephant in the room. Since people actually read me, I should address it.

Before I do that, I want to make it clear that I also support the revival and protection of native languages but will refrain from appropriating the struggle of native peoples and will use this space to concentrate solely on how linguistic policy applies to francophones.

Without further ado, I have decided to pen an open letter to the Facebook group “New Brunswick Referendum on Bilingualism 2014.”

Recently a Facebook group was created calling for a referendum on bilingualism in New Brunswick. Officially, the group says that it is about “standing up for equality for all New Brunswickers,” that it is not anti-French, and that it is “against stupid policies and language laws that are bankrupting our province” (emphasis theirs).

Let me take a strong stance by calling this out as the tired, bigoted, entitled bullshit that it is.

On a calmer note, allow me to address some key failures of their argument and how they betray their true bigotry.

First off, the policy that is bothering these people is not bilingualism. Please strike that word from your policy vocabulary. New Brunswick practices linsguistic duality and equal status for English and French.  These are the notions that English and French are of equal value, and that each community has different needs and priorities which the government must address in an equal manner. It is categorically not the result of a policy decision to make our population bilingual. See the difference?

Take for example our education system, where both cultures are maîtres chez eux. Here, the entire department is split down linguistic lines. This way both peoples may govern the educational futures of their own students. Makes sense, no?

Allow me to directly address the referenders: You are mind-bogglingly entitled. Especially when you talk about the injustice of the government hiring francophones and bilingual people. Believe it or not, there are some jobs which require bilingualism. That’s because in that job, you will need to use both official languages. It’s like being a manager: You need plenty of skills, including leadership and numeracy. If you’re a leader but can’t do finances, you simply aren’t qualified.

Further, it’s not your employer’s responsibility to educate you. If you want to learn French, do it on your own time. Francophones across Canada have been learning English on their own for decades. If you don’t put in the effort and practice your French (maybe by making francophone friends?), you’re not going to have the skills to work in both official languages. If you want better programs to learn French, ask for them or create them, don’t try to strip the rights of francophones.

You referenders have made some good points, most notably on French immersion. I took French immersion for a while and I can attest that, in my experience, New Brunswick’s French immersion is seriously deficient. The problem with your argument is that French immersion is administered by the anglophone sector. This means that you, as parents, get to decide if French immersion is a priority. Your sector, your choice. Duality in action.

Your complete misunderstanding of how duality works in New Brunswick and your heaping of the responsibility for your shortcomings on the government betrays your true intentions. What you’re fighting isn’t a failed policy; it’s the persistence of francophones in New Brunswick.

As a francophone, let me clear it up for you: you’re fighting the survival of our culture, history and identity. You’re fighting services that we can access and understand. You’re fighting the recognition of our language as being equal to yours. You’re fighting our ability to raise our children in a province where they are treated with as much value as yours.

Our having these things takes nothing away from your ability to have them too, so why fight?

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  1. CrazyNB Reply

    You are wrong.  The legislation does not embed ‘duality’.  The legislation is specifically titled as ‘official languages’, and clearly states that NB has two ‘official languages’.  That means, by legislated definition, that citizens of NB have the right to receive provincial government services in their ‘language of choice’.  Duality (dual administrations; self-imposed segregation) has come as a result of the INTERPRETATION of that legislation, and is not actually found in the legislation itself.  The sweeping policies that interpret the legislation are actually the issue, and if you’d take the time to breathe deeply and read some of people’s experiences, you’d know that in majority anglophone areas, anglophones are being denied jobs working in anglophone institutions, serving  majority anglophone clients, simply because said applicants are anglophone.  We in NB are not applying the Act in a sensible way, and this is leading to discrimination against those who aren’t bilingual (that includes unilingual francophones).

  2. Canadian Citizen always Reply

    As the problems have been in place in the province for 40 years? Do you not see the system is flawed? If no one has fixed the problem in 40 years who will? In order for someone to have their rights, someone else must loose. No one has figure out how to be a Dual cultured province or Bilingual either. Oh, forgot, no one is trying because their prime concern is ” What About Me”. This was solely noticed in your totally bias comments. Not good journalism but you will learn. When you point out only your personal fight it does show the Bigotry you are talking about with no room for others.

  3. Nb tax payer Reply

    Same ol song and dance by a true acaidian…trying to convince Anglophones that because of the language legislation they in any way are not discriminating or taking away Anglophones rights to work in the province of New Brunswick where alglophones pay taxes and live.they all cry of fear of losing their culture and fear assimilation. Francophones have a different language not a culture ..your culture is more less a CULT. Its only our hard payed tax dollars that francophones use for big acaidian drinking parties and events which is just an illusion ….your culture in a nutshell is bootlegging …fishing ..greasy takouts and poutine rapee’ ..did I miss anything..oh yeah…….you endless efforts to fullfill the pipedream ..plan for Acaidia

    1. Nadine Reply

      Ok, I’m Acadian (NOT acaidian), and you’re reply really hurt and insulted me, and it probabaly did the same to many other acadians. First of all… We take pride in our culture. Our culture comes from our history and ancestry (1755). Also.. There is so much more to us than bootleging (why?), fishing and poutine rapée (although delicious). So please… Educate yourself and do us all a favor and stop saying dumb things like that. (and yes, I know I’m almlst 1 year late..)

  4. DumbCommentSystem Reply

    lol This is such a laughable article… Good job trying to get people to listen to your opinion, you clearly state at the first of this that you’re getting a rush off of a little bit of attention from some unrelated article that I’ve never heard of. By attacking these people and they’re 100% factual and reasonable concerns, you come across as a huge bigot yourself.
    Stop playing the blame game and research some facts before decided to write an attack article for attention.

  5. rosanne1 Reply

    Personally i think it is unfair to say that Anglophones need to ‘just learn French like the French have been learning English’. For one, you can’t ignore the fact that English is all over the world and you don’t have to seek it out like you do with French to be immersed in it. Two, French in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Paris are all three very different. Paris French is taught in school, Acadien is spoken by many here and then there’s Quebec. … not exactly an easy task to learn and use French when everybody speaks it differently.
    Personally my biggest concern as a Dutch Anglophone (see the unrecognized bilingualism here) is that many workplaces require a 50% bilingual workforce when the population in many areas of new Brunswick cannot sustain that. Whether this is in the francophone north or Anglophone south. It is an unrealistic demand of the workforce that in the current education conditions will not be fulfilled. Now my own children will face the same challenge that my generation and previous generations of unilingual New brunswickers have faced in terms of finding employment in the form of a sustainable career. Notice the distinction between just a job and a career here. This is a genuine concern for both Francophone and Anglophone unilingual individuals and the main reason i am a member of that group. Adjust the policy and let the linguistic profile of the workforce represent the population of the region.
    I realize that the group is quite rough around the edges but right now it’s the only outlet for this problem my family is facing.

  6. justanothereducatedanglo Reply

    You are wrong. 

    As an Anglophone I have been the chosen candidate based on education, experience, knowledge & passing the various interview processes but was then denied the position when it came to light that my name is French but I’m not!

    Je ai suivi un cours de français à l’université du Nouveau-Brunswick pour 6 semestres à 600 $ par semestre, mais je suis anglais, ont toujours été, sera toujours, nous ne sommes pas élus!  (I took a course in French at the university of NB for 6 semesters at $600 per semester, but I’m English, always have been, always will be, we are NOT the chosen ones!)

    NB, where the French work for the government and the educated English work somewhere else. (Alberta)

  7. LisaMurray Reply

    If anyone here is being a bigot clearly it is you.
    You write this long blog post in your eloquent English language and claim that you are unable to understand English signage or speak to English speaking government workers. The fact of the matter is that duality has never been the concern for the francophone community, you like that all you have to do is be born French and suddenly you are entitled to more than your English counterparts as our government once again caters to the wants of the few in lieu of the needs of the many. Clinging to your dying language and calling it “culture”.
    If the English community is going to be forced to learn another language it should be Spanish, at least that is useful outside this backward thinking ridiculous province.
    The referendum group is a good thing, hopefully it brings to light some of the injustices being put on the Anglophone community. The Francophones complain that there are not enough services and opportunities for them, and it is fighting for their culture, but when the Anglos stand up for themselves they are Bigots? Give your head a shake.

  8. NB5600 Reply

    Sorry you missed the boat on this one, this group is not all about taking something from francophone and giving to anglophone, this is not about lessening the amount of services from one and giving to another, nor is it about taking jobs from one to give to another.  This is about looking at the current policies in place, allowing for fairness for BOTH francophone and anglophone and removing outdated and unnecessary duplication of services  and policies which could be combined without undermining either group thus eliminating costs which we all know must be reduced in order to even maintain our status as a bi-lingual province. Don’t blast this group for trying to bring attention to an issue that has long needed to be addressed, it is an open forum for discussion.  Things will get streamlined as it evolves and they will lose some member who realize it is not an Anti-French group and it will also gain other members for the same reason.  Since it is a new group with a huge influx of members it will take time to weed out those that want to use if as a platform for anything other than what it is meant to be.  This is solely your opinion and obviously you are entitled to that, but don’t disregard or disrespect the efforts of others because you do not agree with it.  Members of the group are meant to be about fairness and equality, sure there are a lot of comments on the site contrary to this, but that is because many people join a group with a pre-conceived notion before actually learning what the group is about.  Kind of like jumping to conclusions that it’s an anti-French forum which it was not intended to be , kind of like you just did……

  9. CrazyNB Reply

    “…I also support the revival and protection of native language…”  Let’s see how much you support it if it comes to the point when you can’t get a job because you don’t speak one of those languages.  You know….like our English citizens who can’t get jobs because they don’t speak French. 
    “Let me take a strong stance by calling this out as the tired, bigoted, entitled bullshit that it is.”  Right back at ya!  This definition fits your rant, which is really nothing more than an ad hominem attack (a logical fallacy).
    “First off, the policy that is bothering these people is not bilingualism. Please strike that word from your policy vocabulary.”  You are very wrong.  “Bilingualism” is the term the government has used to refer to us…an ‘officially bilingual province’ due to having an ‘Official Languages Act’ and its accompanying policies.  So you are wrong.
    “These are the notions that English and French are of equal value, and
    that each community has different needs and priorities which the
    government must address in an equal manner.”  Wrong again.  The Act says nothing about ‘different needs and priorities’.  Nothing.  Read it sometime.
    “This way both peoples may govern the educational futures of their own students.”  Wrong again.  The “peoples” of the anglophone district have little to no input.  The Minister of Education (usually a francophone) makes the decision, and we swallow it….and that includes mandatory French.
    “You are mind-bogglingly entitled.”  Again….right back at ya.
    “Believe it or not, there are some jobs which require bilingualism.
    That’s because in that job, you will need to use both official languages.”  This is one point you got right.  Where you missed the boat is that the government is making bilingual ability a requirement for jobs that can actually be done in one language.  Hence, it is not really an essential requirement, but is an artificial ‘need’ put in place to satisfy the demands of those who make it their business to lodge complaints about not receiving service in the language of choice.
    “Further, it’s not your employer’s responsibility to educate you.”  Unless you’re French-born.  Then your employer pays for your English education and upgrades.
    “I took French immersion for a while and I can attest that, in my
    experience, New Brunswick’s French immersion is seriously deficient.”  It is deficient.  But why did you take it if you are a Francophone?  Doesn’t that mean you attended an English school?  Then why can’t English children attend French schools?
    ” French immersion is administered by the anglophone sector. This means
    that you, as parents, get to decide if French immersion is a priority.
    Your sector, your choice.”  Wrong.  As pointed out above, parents have little to no say in anything.
    ” Your complete misunderstanding of how duality works in New Brunswick and
    your heaping of the responsibility for your shortcomings on the
    government betrays your true intentions.”  Wrong again.  We understand duality very well,  And where else does repsonsibility for Acts and policies lie, except with the governments who create them without citizen input (e.g. the closed-door Language Review)?
    “As a francophone, let me clear it up for you: you’re fighting the
    survival of our culture, history and identity. You’re fighting services
    that we can access and understand. You’re fighting the recognition of
    our language as being equal to yours. You’re fighting our ability to
    raise our children in a province where they are treated with as much
    value as yours.”  Change that 3rd word to ‘anglophone’, and this goes right back at ya!
    “Our having these things takes nothing away from your ability to have them too, so why fight?”  Wrong again.  Because of those failed policies, we are being denied jobs we are qualifed to do, and even have seniority for….but we can’t have them because the government is placing language over skills and experience.

  10. KyleMclean Reply

    Every rebbuttal that i have read below your article just sounds so bang on with how i feel as an english speaking person in nb. Shame on our failed system and shame on anyone trying to justify their 40-50 some odd year free ride from the fancophone-first oriented govnt thats just pummeling our province into the mud. Im not so well spoken, but am proud to support a good movement, as well as those within the movement that so quickly call bullshit on your rant.

  11. KevinCollins1 Reply

    Alec has written a great piece. I do differ with Alec in the sense that I support an integrated bilingual government services in areas like education, but the overall theme of piece, that the equality of both languages is key to protecting the rights of the francophone minority, is spot on. This petition is crypto racist hackery, and you are on the wrong side of history if you support degrading the bilingual and multicultural character of New Brunswick. Also, the notwithstanding clause can only be invoked to override sections 2 and 7-15 of the Charter. The status of New brunswick as a bilingual province is entrenched in section 16; section 33 cannot be invoked as the petition calls for. So, even if the referendum had a hope in hell of taking place, let alone passing, the New Brunswick government could not invoke s. 33 to revoke NB’s bilingual status; this would require a constitutional amendment.

  12. Nb tax payer Reply

    Bottom line ……the acaidian language. .the Quebecois language. ..France language. ..Haitian language. ..African language that are french by nature are all different in nature with vaying words and meanings……this is one reason to amend the language legislation as no aglophone cannot learn all these various french languages. …another reason for ammendment to language legislation is immiersion corriculum in anglophone school district doesent mandate proficient qualifications for govt jobs……another reason for amendment to the language legislation is that is how it puts francophones first ..and puts language before merrit in jobs and seniority in jobs within govt…..another reason is the society we have on New Brunswick we are a multcultural province nowadays and the use of transilators can be put in place for public service ….another reason is it will allow families to return to New Brunswick to live where they pay huge taxes….and another reason is we simply cant afford what the francaphone community takes to fund french organizations.

  13. be_ct Reply

    Nb tax payer The variety of dialects is a moot point. Standard french is understood and spoken by all of those language groups. It’s like if I said “it’s useless to learn english because americans and british and australians don’t speak the same way”

  14. Nb tax payer Reply

    English is english. …different countries and regions have different accents but the words are identical

  15. be_ct Reply

    CrazyNB “Right back at ya” isn’t really an argument. Just sayin’. Since you like to cite logical fallacies i’ll leave you the pleasure of finding the latin name for that one.

  16. be_ct Reply

    “Bilingualism is one of the major concerns of this province’s ailing economy. Our economy is just as bas as Nova Scotia! ….oh wait, what? They don’t have bilingualism? Oh. hmm.”
    “Well then….. it’s bilingualism’s for us not having any jobs ! Look at Nova Scotia! They have jobs! They’re swimming in jobs! ..oh wait, they don’t either? shit….”
    “Well then, look at the west! They have jobs, and no french! I think my point is proven. We need to eliminate bilingualism.”

  17. JoelCodling Reply

    KevinCollins1 ok, lets have english only or english first laws like in dieppe when english are the majority, lets have an english health authority since theres already a french one and fund them accordingly…..70% english 30% french…..no?  would that be racist too?  explain how……bilingualism isnt the problem, duality is……there should be bilingual institutions, not bilingual AND french, its stupid and needs to be fixed…..equality, not special treatment

  18. HeatherWilkins1 Reply

    KevinCollins1  Constitutional amendment is required and because section 16(2),
    17(2), 18(2), 19(2) and 20(2) refer to New Brunswick only, it does not
    require active participation by other provinces in order to amend.
    Changes can be made unilaterally. Changes would have to be made through
    section 15 which is very open to interpretation as was done in Quebec.
    racist hackery” How is the groups concerns with language laws “racist”?
    English and French are the same race that speak different languages.
    you have not been to the facebook group and are speaking only on
    assumptions. Look past the superficial and educate yourself before
    speaking out publicly.

  19. CrazyNB Reply

    be_ct CrazyNB Well gee, thanks for enlightening me.  However, for your enlightenmnet, the ‘right back at ya’ was meant, obviously, to show that the anglophone population could say the exact same thing and have it be just as applicable for, or definitive of, their situation and perceptions.  The ‘right back at ya’ comments weren’t intended, obviously, to be rebuttal points, but to show that a mirror image of the comments exist in the anglophone population or among those who disagree with your viewpoint.

  20. CrazyNB Reply

    be_ct Wow!  If we’re just as bad off as NS is, and we have OB and they don’t, imagine how much better we’d be without those expenses!  We’d be leading the pack economically!  And this is not sarcasm….

  21. KevinCollins1 Reply

    HeatherWilkins1 KevinCollins1 The last time I checked the petition, which was just before the privacy settings on the group were changed to make it private, it advocated for the use of notwithstanding clause to override section 16 of the Charter. Changes to section 16 cannot be made unilaterally; they require the consent of the federal parliament and the province concerned because it falls under the section 43 amending formula. You obviously have not read the jurisprudence, let alone the Charter itself, and you ought to educate yourself before you speak out.

  22. KevinCollins1 Reply

    HeatherWilkins1 KevinCollins1 Any majority group movement that seeks to degrade the rights of a minority group is inherently discriminatory. There is no feasible way for this movement to ever accomplish its demands, save a violent overthrow of the present constitutional order… Frankly the movement is laughable; however, it is also quite disturbing to know that we have so many uneducated xenophobic people in our province.

  23. willrose Reply

    First off, it should be said that labeling a group of 10000 members
    doesn’t really make sense. The opinions stated on that group vary
    wildly. Some of them are against equal rights I agree (even if they
    claim not to be), and there are some who indeed post some very hateful and/or untrue
    comments. However, some of them are very reasonable people who have
    issues with how certain policies are implemented and want to have an
    open discussion on how to fix it. NDP leader Dominic Cardy recently
    called into question some issues that deal with bilingualism and
    duality, and he did it without contradicting the rights guaranteed in
    the Constitution or Charter. Would you call him a bigot? Personally, I
    support bilingualism and perhaps even some aspects of duality. I truly
    believe that people of both languages should have the right to an
    education in their language, bilingual services at every hospital in the
    province, and access to government services in their language.

    order to guarantee those services, francophones and bilingual employees
    will indeed need to be hired like you said. That is a fair policy as
    long as the percentage of each demographic hired is fair. I’m not so
    sure that is the case, and that touches on proposals made by PANB leader
    Kris Austen to make bilingual requirements more region-specific. There
    is likely no need to mandate the same number of English-speaking
    government employees in Caraquet (1.6% anglophone) than in Woodstock
    (94.2% anglophone). Is that a fair statement? And even if you don’t
    agree, don’t you think we should at least be able to have that
    conversation? Would you call Kris Austen a bigot for suggesting that?
    issue you bring up is education. Again, I fully support the province in
    needing to provide bilingual services, but one of the big issues I have
    is that the tools are simply not there to effectively make anglophones
    bilingual. It is fact (see the 2013-14 annual report from the
    Commissioner of Official Languages) that by mother tongue, 71.4% of
    francophones are bilingual. By contrast, only 15.9% of anglophones are
    bilingual. You can criticize the anglophone French immersion program all
    you want (I would tend to agree), but the fact remains that 71.4% of
    francophones are becoming bilingual without even having an English
    immersion program. One reason they can do that is that they can come to
    communities that are English by majority (which is most of the province)
    and become immersed in the English language. What hope does an
    anglophone living in Fredericton have at becoming immersed in French?
    That anglophone could literally go decades without needing to speak to
    somebody in French. Your suggestion of perhaps finding francophone
    friends is laughable when some people have trouble finding friends
    period, let alone francophone ones that would be willing to go through the
    frustrating experience of effectively teaching somebody a second language. On top of
    this, how easy do you think it is for that anglophone to receive
    inexpensive or free second language training? Dominic Cardy himself said
    that in order to provide that kind of training to some of his
    employees, it would have pretty much eaten up his party’s entire budget.
    It’s an inherently unfair learning environment, so when it comes time
    to compete for bilingual jobs (again, I don’t criticize the province for
    wanting to provide the service), the anglophone is at a distinct disadvantage.
    This is the kind of thing that breeds resentment. I surely don’t blame
    francophones for it. I do however think that the application of certain
    policies have contributed greatly to this resentment on both sides.
    is this not a conversation we can have without being labeled bigots?
    The name calling needs to stop on both sides, and everybody needs to
    realize that talking about something is the best way to come to a fair
    solution for everyone.

  24. jimmyboy67 Reply

    You sir are just an arrogant arsehole. Why the fuck should 70% of the population cater to 30%? Why the fuck should we be forced to learn the language of 30% of the population?
    Of course it’s easy for Francophones to learn English….it’s everywhere and the majority of the province and country speaks it.
    Yes, some jobs require bilingualism but too many jobs ask for it…….this is only done to cater to Francophones.
    Let me clear it up for you………your language is not equal to ours…..not in NB, not in Canada and not in the world and it is not my job to protect your language and culture, it’s yours and yours alone.

  25. be_ct Reply

    CrazyNB be_ct It may not be sarcasm, but it isn’t informed either. You won’t ever solve the province’s economic woes by removing constitutional rights from a minority. You’ll just make a bunch of people angry and still be broke.

  26. KevinCollins1 Reply

    JoelCodling How are they degrading your rights? Explain to me that. No one seems to be able to articulate that. If you are a unilingual anglophone, you lack a skill, one that you can always acquire. Refusing to hire a unilingual person for a bilingual job is not discrimination; saying that it is is akin to saying that it is discrimination to require an MD for one to be considered for a position as physician at a hospital. The Charter entrenches New Brunswick as a bilingual province; it protects the rights of a sizeable minority group in the province, Francophones, by ensuring that they have the receive the same provincial government services as the majority group, Anglophones. How does that, in any way, constitute discrimination against the majority group?

  27. CrazyNB Reply

    KevinCollins1 JoelCodling Wrong.  Paramedicine, for example, can be done in one language.  And it is…all over Canada.  However, in NB, we’ve added bilingual ability as an ‘essential skill’, even though the job can be done in a 2nd language and we could use technology (like the rest of the world does) to assist in providing service to most of the languages represented in NB (because, after all, there are more than 2 spoken here).  So our skilled paramedics sit in the rank of casual, simply because they speak only one language, while we recruit from Quebec and hire newbies into full time positions that casuals can’t have….based solely on language.  And no, they can’t ‘just acquire it’ as a skill, especially if they are older, never had the opportunity to learn, and don’t have the population base to speak it on a regular basis in order to maintain the language proficiency.  So….how exactly is denying a job to a qualified, licensed, experienced anlgophone with 3,000 hours of seniority, just to give that job to a brand-new medic from Quebec, NOT trampling over the rights of the anglophone?  After all, he or she is being denied the job…that they HAVE THE NECESSARY SKILLS TO PERMORM….based solely on culture.  I’d rather have the medic who can treat my heart condition quickly and effectively, thereby saving my life, than the newbie who panics and lets me suffer irreperable damage….but by God can speak both official languages while I suffer.

  28. CrazyNB Reply

    KevinCollins1 JoelCodling Your analogy of the MD is flawed, in that the job of physician literally cannot be done without the necessary training that the Medical Doctorate provides.  Note that NB hires unilingual doctors all the time….if I need to visit my ER, I will likely get a doctor who speaks broken, barely understandable English, and his or her mother tongue.  But that’s okay if I get the treatment I need.  After all, he or she has the training and skills to treat me.  We don’t require our MDs to be bilingual French and English.  Yet.  Thank God.  Many positions that are labeled “bilingual mandatory’ can actually be performed in a single language….just like our doctor positions.  Medics can do the job in a single language.  So can floor sweepers, laundry sorters, file clerks, nurses, etc.  The language requirement is an artificial requirement, as proven by the FACT that other jurisdictions serve many more languages per day, in many more settings, by using 21st century technology.  But here, the elite demand nothing will do except unattainable and unfair hiring ratios, thereby trampling the rights of anglophones to work as equal citizens in the public sector.

  29. commentsection Reply

    CrazyNB What if a unilingual paramedic tries to help a unilingual citizen of the other language? There was a complaint against Ambulance NB because this happened. The injured citizen cannot effectively communicate what happened to him, and the paramedic cannot effectively give instructions to the injured.
    I understand your frustration, as Francophones live in a world dominated by English and can “naturally” absorb it as a second language. Yet this is a double-edged sword: English is so pervasive that French will disappear without laws to ensure our language rights.
    Oh, and you should edit your comment : “After all, he or she is being denied the job…that they HAVE THE NECESSARY SKILLS TO PERMORM…. except the required language SKILLS, which are undeniably SKILLS, based solely on culture.”

  30. CrazyNB Reply

    be_ct CrazyNB Wrong again.  Removing duality (which is not embedded in the Constitution) and its associated expenses naturally would lead to lessened economic woes.  I never said it would ELIMINATE our woes, but we’d have to be better off, mathematically.  Let’s use a simple analogy: A household budget’s expenses total $5000 per month, but the income of that household is only $4000 per month.  That household lessens its bills by $1000 per month by eliminating overlapping costs (maybe house phone and home phones) and cutting out ‘the wants’ (Starbucks twice a day, for example) and guess what happens?????  That household is better off than it was before, simply by removing unnecessary duplication of expenses (or frills that aren’t justified).  See how that works?  Removing unnecessary or duplicated expenses from an unsustainable expense budget = a better financial picture.

  31. VeroComeau Reply

    For those who were stating that thr group was nothing comparable to a discrimantory one and was not anti-french in any way… You sir, do a great job at proving otherwise!
    Ps: I am also an NB tax payer. Would you believe that?

  32. be_ct Reply

    “I wonder… if we spent all the time that we do trying to argue away minority rights and complaining about getting refused for jobs, instead learning french, how fluent would we all be ?”

  33. CrazyNB Reply

    commentsection CrazyNB No edit necessary.  If you’d read carefully, you’d see that it’s an artificial ‘skill’ (not actually essential for licensing or to do the job’s basic functions… proven by the fact that those licensed, skilled medics can sink an IV in one language, use the defib machine in one language, etc., and they can also work everywhere in Canada except NB….because bilingual ability isn’t part of paramedicine’s basic functions).  And, if youi’d read carefully instead of panicking about the Constitution, you’d also see that….all over the world…..emergency services are provided in multiple languages (some places nearly 200 languages!) through the use of technology, thereby eliminating the need to discriminate against our trained, skilled workforce who just happen to be doing the job anyway, covering those unfilled bilingual positions. Which also proves the job CAN indeed be done in a single language.  After all, they’re DOING IT….just as lowly casuals unable to progress in the ranks.

  34. CrazyNB Reply

    be_ct Do you actually read anything but your own writing?  My God, the examples are everywhere!  Listen to the CBC political panel!  Read comments from those who took language training, and can work in Paris or Quebec in French, but aren’t ‘fluent enough’ for NB!  The training isn’t readily available.  It’s expensive.  It leads to ‘not bilingual enough for NB’.  And it’s unnecessary.  If my language is equal to yours, as the legislation states, why can’t I speak it and work in it as MY language of choice??????????  Your demand that I learn French proves that my language, contrary to the legislation, isn’t perceived as equal after all.

  35. commentsection Reply

    VeroComeau While I can understand their frustration, a lot of their discourse is, unfortunately, reminiscent of that of men’s rights and white pride activists

  36. Cainnec Reply

    When Acadia was ceded to Britain by King Lous XIV of France as part of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the Acadians took an Oath of Allegiance to Queen Anne and had no language rights at all. They were supposed to learn English but kept hedging for too long with the intention of seizing the territory  under Abbe Lous Leloutre, who was arrested and deported to Jersey in the Channel Islands, where he died.  Now, your history has been exposed as a deliberate falsehood, and you the Acadan-Mi’kmag still think that you are French.  I am very sorry to inform you, that you are really Franco-Amerindian by RACE and ORIGN.

  37. KevinCollins1 Reply

    CrazyNB KevinCollins1 JoelCodling I’m sorry, but this is incoherent nonsense; it reminds me of the movement as a whole. Moreover, it doesn’t really matter what you think. There is no realistic possibility that the constitution will ever be amended in order to strike section 16 of the Charter. No New Brunswick or Canadian government would ever attempt to do this, let alone the two conjunction that would be necessary for the amendment; it would be political suicide. This is precisely why we have the Charter; it is designed to prevent a majority group, even if it represents an electoral majority, from infringing upon the rights of a minority group. Have fun spouting your veiled xenophobia on the internet from behind your keyboards though! You can thank the same Charter you seek to subvert for your right to do so.

  38. CrazyNB Reply

    KevinCollins1 CrazyNB JoelCodling There is nothing incoherent or nonsensical about what I wrote, even though you disagree with it.  I believe the OLA actually says that English is an equal language, and anglophones (according to that supposed equality) should be allowed to prosper and work in their langauge of choice.  However, the policies that have been put in place to interpret the OLA, and its etrenchment in the Charter and Constitution, do not back up that intent of equality.  No xenophobia on my part at all….I’m not demanding anyone learn anything, nor am I bashing anyone or name-calling.  As usual, anyone who disagrees with our curent practice of discriminating against unilinguals immediately gets labeled as xenophobic, or a bigot..even when I’ve written nothing anti-French and I’ve not name-called.  I’ve not culture-bashed either.  Yet my opinion, according to you, doesn’t really matter (and I assume neither do the opinions of anyone else who disagrees with you or agrees with me).  And that’s sad,  But then again, my opinion doesn’t matter, right?   Have a good one.

  39. be_ct Reply

    Except that duality isn’t 20% of the province’s budget, like in your clever analogy. By dropping a language you wont have less hospitals or schools. You’ll still have the same number of patients and students.

  40. CrazyNB Reply

    be_ct We would have less administrators.  Less offices (since those administations would be combined).  Less office expenses and fewer staff salaries.  Fewer buses burning gas, The list goes on.  And nowhere did I say that the cost of duality was 20% of our provincial budget.  That is reading into the analogy something I didn’t claim.  We could stop closing under-utilized schools even as we build new ones in the same community, by sharing building space (not classrooms).  Whether it reduced the budget by 5% or 50%, any savings would benefit the bottom line.  I believe we can find savings by addressing duality, without diminishing service in the language of choice.  You disagree, obviously, but you don’t need to misinterpret what I wrote to do so.  Good night.

  41. Nb tax payer Reply

    Minorities dont need anymore rights than anyone else….equal opportunity is supposed to mean french and english unilinguals will be accomidated in language preference and being hired reguardless of speaking both official languages. .but the laws have been perverted…..what kind of fags did u smoke today anyhow. …lol.your another typical acaidian who says just learn french when you cant even speak french…you speak chiak…thats what I call hillbilly french. ..some made up french slang with 20% english words added because real parisian french you cant speak.

  42. KennethFlecknell Reply

    Well now I guess the figures of Bilingualism costing 85 million a year  don’t bother the French.  The next time your loved ones have  to put up with the less than effective health care and poor education system in New Brunswick, just think of how much better it could be without the cost to taxpayers of this albatross. We have carried for much too long. Quebec decided that it was too much of a burden to even use bilingual road signs and that the Anglo could fend for themselves. Government has no right to enforce language or culture on anyone by legislation. No country has culture or language enshrine in their constitution except to all ow anyone who wants to speak in their language to do so. If you want your language and culture simply practice it and it will survive. Don’t tell others they have to put up with a half French language that even Quebec doesn’t want anything to do with.. Also, where do the French get the right to call themselves bilingual without examination in English? While we are on this topic, as the English are the majority, why are they not heading up these comities and closed door meetings? It’s far past time for simple talks, it’s time for action.

  43. Ian_92 Reply

    CrazyNB KevinCollins1 JoelCodling So how would you feel if your anglophone elder grandmother would receive medical attention from two francophone medics who can’t speak a word in english? She wouldn’t understand what they are doing and would possibly be scared. She couldn’t answer their questions to help them help her.
    Would that be alright? Well that’s why paramedics can’t be uni-lingual anglophones.

  44. CrazyNB Reply

    Ian_92 CrazyNB KevinCollins1 JoelCodling   You, like others, have missed the point that has been repeatedly made.  Other jurisdictions all over the world serve multiple languages every single day (over 150 in Ontario) by using technology.  Instant video links to our bilingual 911 dispatchers could easily be implemented.  And right now, my elderly grandmother could speak via handset in the ambulance to a bilingual paramedic, immediately, who could communicate between her and the medics.  It’s not perfect right now, but we could improve it, and use today’s technology like the rest of the world does.  This would also benefit our citizens who speak neither English nor French fluently, and visitors to our province.  I am not suggesting something new or radical.  Other places do it. Every. Single. Day.

  45. Ian_92 Reply

    CrazyNB Ian_92 KevinCollins1 JoelCodling Fair enough, but the implementation cost of such a system is a hurdle to ANB vs hiring bilingual employees, which doesn’t really cost them anything. I feel like it would just add the the bilingual debate by adding a cost to it.

  46. JoelCodling Reply

    commentsection CrazyNB spent almost 20 years in emergency services…..unconscious people are brought to hospital by medics every day…..guess what language they speak?  thats right, none 😉 id rather have a medic that can speak only french with 15 years experience over one that speaks english straight from the academy and only has the job because theyre bilingual……i speak from experience, not from a “blanket bilingualism” standpoint…..we have lost alot of good medics in this province over this issue……NB has focused on this instead of the fact that we have the lowest standard of care when it comes to emergency services in the entire country……funny that toronto ems can provide service in almost 150 languages without the medics speaking them and we cant handle two

    consider yourself educated 

    *drops mic*

  47. JoelCodling Reply

    this is whats happening to people all over the province, thats how http://shituationroom.blogspot.ca/2009/07/dr-andrew-trenholm-sets-record-straight.html

  48. CrazyNB Reply

    Ian_92 CrazyNB KevinCollins1 JoelCodling I replied once, but it didn’t show up.  My elderly grandmother could access the 24-hour language line, staffed by bilingual medis, through a handset in the ambulance.  Or, NB could do like the rest of the world does, and use technology to help cross language barriers through instant video links.  Ontario does it every day….over 150 languages.  We just refuse, in NB, to accept anything other than staffing levels being disproportionate to population demographics, using tech to make up any offset.  Yes, I would be okay with my elerly grandmother getting treatment that way, especially if she were visiting or residing in a majority francophone area.  I would never say those French medics should be denied jobs in French areas!

  49. JoelCodling Reply

    commentsection VeroComeau comments like yours increase our numbers every day, keep them coming 🙂  keep calling us names 🙂 we have your attention, good

  50. SeriouslyAppalled Reply

    I love the bigotry in the comments, “French costs 85 Million” is it an expense or an investment? New-Brunswick has tons of call center jobs due to the community being bilingual, they also hire speakers of both languages and they make more than minimum wage. That’s not good enough for you? All of those government jobs you can’t get because they are “bilingual only” would not be in New-Brunswick. Translation services, Corporate offices, you take away those and New-Brunswick has no jobs. This is such a great idea, let’s try to save money by removing OUR ENTIRE BUSINESS SECTOR.

  51. be_ct Reply

    CrazyNB be_ct Regardless of duality, what costs the most in health or education (which are two of our largest expenses in the province) is how many patients you have, and how many students you have. Thats what dictates primarily how much your services will cost to the province. If you address this root problem, you will save more money. You are looking at the problem backwards by just trying to trim. Though I agree a measure like reducing administrative salaries is not necessarily a bad thing, its addressing a problem without dealing with the root cause. Just an example, to reduce health costs, you need to invest in preventative health care and address the the old-age problem and the obesity problem that the maritime provinces suffers from. Then you reduce the demand, and voilà, you can then cut costs of health, because your population is healthier. The root problem here isn’t duality.

  52. Canadian Citizen always Reply

    35.5 million people in Canada and this is the only province (750,000) that cannot agree what is right or wrong. How did Canada ever get along without this province showing them who is right or wrong. I am not asking a question I am stating that less then 750,000 know that the system will not work with what it is doing right now. Guess my point is how many years was Canada here before a handful of people decided this was the change needed to keep Canada alive as a country? That’s right someone’s dream has made this whole thing a nightmare. I would venture a guess that Quebec took the easy way out and saved a lot of money. But what the hey it is not about the money now is it? Services available in both languages does not mean from the same person.

  53. Joseeanne Reply

    if language was the color of your skin. People need to stop. We should both be able to co-exist. If you dont want to learn french that is your business. If you dont like the fact that a lot of the jobs are billingual, go out and learn french (or move). French people go through the school system and HAVE to learn english. have you ever met a french person not being able to speak at least some english? I haven’t. Have you ever heard of “english immedsion”? I sure haven’t.
    I have english and french friends and family. Hell im french and my boyfriend is english. It is frustrating that some places ONLY hire billingual people, i don’t always agree with it. Hiring someone with no experience because they are billingual over someone who has 20 years experience but is strictly english… Any one can agree that its a terrible choice, and i know people to whom its happend to. But french people have been here since, well forever. We’ve survived and attempted genocide among mutiple other obstacles. But we’ve worked hard to try and be accepted in the community, we adjusted ourselves to english. Just live and let live. I dont hate english people. I dont hate french people. I an proud to be both. Where i work, in a mostly english community. I am the ONLY billigual person. So dont say that ALLLL jobs are for billingual people. I just think people are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Both languages are beautiful in their own respects and should be treated as gifts not burdens.

  54. Andmetoo Reply

    Here’s the thing.  We are the only province in Canada that is officially bilingual. We are one of the poorest, if not the poorest province in Canada. there are 10 proviinces  and 3 territories in Canada and other than NB, none are bilingual so my point is this, are they racists? are they bigoted? are the french/chinese, innuit/ korean, german etc etc not entitled? why are the people of NB considered bigoted when they are against forced bilingualism and the rest of the country not ?  something to seriously consider non?

  55. commentsection Reply

    Nb tax payer If minorities don’t need any more rights than anyone else, why are there programs like equal opportunities employment and the Employment Equity Act? As for hillbilly French, thanks for the judgement, I’m assuming you speak “real” British English and not Maritime Canadian English?

  56. Joseeanne Reply

    No one is forcing anyone to be billingual. If you dont want to learn french then thats your business. If it bothers certain english people so much then you shouldnt be living in a billingual community. But why is it that every french person can speak english(from what ive seen) If anyone is being forced to be billingual its the french community. We dont have the choice to learn english. It is part of our curriculum in school. We’ve been taught english from a yougn age. And as for the “poorest province” this happens in canada every 10 years or so. When i was in middle school people were moving from out west to nb to get jobs and now its the opposite. It flip flops every few years depending on where the demand is, french people have absolutley nothing to do with it. I think being billigual is a privilege, and that living in a province where both can be spoken is a privilege. People need to stop being so damn closed minded and learn to co exist with others. I dont judge english people? If i go to a store and see that the person is english i dont start speaking french. I am not ignorant. I am respectful and i understand that not everyone has the privilege to learn both languages. But french people dont get all this “budgeting” that some people think they do. Sure it costs more to have billingual signs. But this is everywhere. Go to the US are most of their signs not english and spanish? Billingualism is everywhere, not only french and english. The fact that someone knows more than one language makes them a more cultural person. If i had time to learn more languages I would. This province was originally french. It should be able to keep its culture and not have to change for a few close minded english people who dont want to make an effort. There are pro’s and con’s to everything. There will never be an ideal situation. But billingualism does create jobs. whether you want to realise that or not is not my problem.

  57. meganlmeagher Reply

    JoelCodling Joseeanne No child is forced into French Immersion. Parents decide whether their child takes French Immersion or English Prime.

  58. Andmetoo Reply

    Joseeanne You don’t understand what forced bilingualism is so I’m going to give Government Bilingualism 101…… in a nutshell  because the province of NB is officially ( governmentally) bilingual, all services, by provincial law, is to be handled by governmentally certified bilingual staff….Now dear, if you would re-read my post, get your head out of your armpit, you’d realize that I posed a few questions to which, you have yet to respond. Comprendre?

    “And as for the “poorest province” this happens in canada every 10 years or so”  —- I’ve been in this province now for nigh on 60 years..  Where you get that is far beyond me . We were a poor province before but now we are one of  THE poorest ( per capita).
    ” If i had time to learn more languages I would.”—-on line.. it’s free and done in your pyjamas..

    You’re taken my  post a little to close to your heart and I would suggest you stand back, take a deep breath, relax, have a bottle or two of wine and then re-read it with the mindset of one human ( not french, not english, nor german) but one human being reading another human beings post. 

    Now, why are we in NB considered bigots when discussing the language issue?  Are they not bigots in Quebec?

  59. JoelCodling Reply

    meganlmeagher JoelCodling Joseeanne intensive french is mandatory in grade 5……we have a low literacy rate and pretty much the lowest test scores in the country…..also people graduate from french immersion and are not considered bilingual…..thats not acceptable

  60. Andmetoo Reply

    JoelCodling meganlmeagher Joseeanne
    There is no reason why any child in NB should not be fluent in both languages and by fluent I mean reading and writing and comprehension, yet they are.. Now what does that tell you?  Bilingualism is not being done properly . Why? Well look at it this way, what better way to keep control of the masses than by keeping them fighting against each other.

  61. Andmetoo Reply

    JoelCodling because the politico that’s running the province now AND then, don’t want the people to realize exactly what they are doing. Keep ’em fighting, keep ’em stupid.

  62. JoelCodling Reply

    all students in the english system are required to do intensive french in grade 5……mandatory….forced…..no exceptions…..no choicehttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/early-french-immersion-a-good-idea-but-with-one-big-caveat-1.2622041

  63. commentsection Reply

    “The benefits given to visible minorities in response
    to social injustice put us, the white majority, at a disadvantage.” – White
    pride movement
    “The benefits given women in response to social
    injustice put us, the men, at a disadvantage.” – Men’s rights movement
    “The benefits given to Francophones in response to
    social injustice put us, the Anglophone majority, at a disadvantage.” – ?

  64. commentsection Reply

    JoelCodling There are mandatory English classes in French schools too………no exceptions……….. How is this a bad thing?

  65. Billeh Reply

    Nb tax payer Lol this comment is so dumb and poorly written I’m gonna go ahead and guess you’re Travis Murphy? But seriously, you guys need to stop with that ridiculous claim that different French dialects are any harder to understand than the different English dialects. You make it painfully obvious you have never learned a word of French and never even hung around many Francophones. Ever head of the Université de Moncton? Something like 25 % of the students there come from foreign countries (mostly African countries and France) + a considerable amount of Québecois. According to your “logic”, they would need to be in different classes because they speak such different languages. That is not the case (by the way). 
    I mean, just ask an averagely educated Acadian if he can communicate with Québeckers and Frenchmen? Might have to branch out of your friend circle for that one I assume. 
    You guys could be fighting for an improved immersion curriculum, but you aren’t. Education (or rather lack of) is the source of most of our problems, and your comment and this whole “cause” is proof of that.

  66. bilingualparent Reply

    Why would you wait until grade 5? Why wouldn’t you give your child the advantage of starting early? I was forced to take English class in grade 2, you don’t see me complaining? The reason immersion is failing is because the kids hear their parents complaining about it and automatically feel it’s a waste of their time so don’t put an effort into it… I really sucked at math in school, just like a lot of other students, but I was forced to take it.. Should we abolish that as well?

  67. JoelCodling Reply

    bilingualparent the reason its failing is because kids are going through french immersion, graduating and finding out when they do testing for jobs that they dont meet the government “standard” of bilingualism somehow…..so yes, its a waste of time……the system is broken and needs to be discussed but the govt is not willing to

  68. bilingualparent Reply

    French kids are forced into English classes too… why is this a problem for English kids and not for French kids? Why should French kids be obligated to learn English?

  69. JoelCodling Reply

    if french kids are forced into english immersion it shouldnt be allowed either….simple language classes are fine in my mind, the immersion is what i have an issue with, everyone hould have a choice when it comes to that no matter what language they speak

  70. bilingualparent Reply

    You get out of the program what you put into it… I was constantly skipping my math classes, was I surprised when I started struggling? NO! Once I put the effort in, I started learning. Problem solved! If you don’t like how the program works, CHANGE IT! It’s your right as a parent to attend the school district meetings and demand change! Immersion is not going anywhere so fight the fight that’s worth fighting! Fight for a change to the program!

  71. JoelCodling Reply

    we cant change the program, its not something up for discussion according to the govt…..NOW do you get it??? 🙂

  72. bilingualparent Reply

    Why in the world would I choose to put myself or my kids at a disadvantage? Why wouldn’t I want them to learn as many languages as possible? Why any parent would want that is beyond me… If my child wants to learn Spanish or Italian, I’d be very proud!

  73. JoelCodling Reply

    bilingualparent look at the literacy rates in NB http://www.newbrunswickbeacon.ca/27104/brunswick-functionally-illiterate/ glad youre happy with it

  74. commentsection Reply

    JoelCodling A lot of us live English immersion every day, so we don’t need an artificial immersion environment. If you only speak French in French class, you can’t expect to pick it up as quickly as a Francophone who has English classes as well as many English friends, English books, TV, movies, video games, etc.
    I’m generalising of course, I know that in places like the North, they could benefit from English immersion because of the greater presence of French and less English outside of the classroom.

  75. hkbobo Reply

    Why so scared of the Debate maybe all of us and i mean all of us can have voice in how our Province what is so wrong with that .I love how when ever someone brings up the language the francophone call us bigots or 
    racists so we are supposes to shut up wile every year something else eg OLA officer meeting behind closed doors with Aacadian society to the government cutting french immersion programs its not fair to us and we have the right to speak out without being called bigot so try to look beyond your own fears and help find a better way instead of trying shot us down

  76. willrose Reply

    I wrote a critical response to this letter, but in the comments I see a lot of people asking why NB is the only bilingual province. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. Here is each province ranked by percentage of population who are francophone by mother tongue:

    NB – 31.9%
    QC – 7.6% (anglophone)
    ON – 4.4%

    PE – 4.0%
    MB – 3.9%

    NS – 3.4%
    AB – 1.9%

    SK – 1.7%
    BC – 1.3%

    NL – 0.4%

    I think we can stop asking the question.

  77. CdnGuy2015 Reply

    jimmyboy67 Jimmyboy67 did you know that the official language of the UNITED NATION is French. Yep, French and this is a World body, not just New Brunswick. Just thought you might want to know.

  78. JoelCodling Reply

    CdnGuy2015 its one of six yes http://ask.un.org/faq/14463 just thought you might want to know its not the only one, like youre trying to portray 😉

  79. CdnGuy2015 Reply

    JoelCodling CdnGuy2015 I stand corrected. What I meant to say was that both English and French are the working languages of the UN and you are correct by stating that there are 6 languages. At the beginning of the UN, the official language of the UN was French.

  80. commentsection Reply

    JoelCodling *sigh* I doubt we’ll be able to overcome our ideological differences and reach a conclusion. From both our points of view, the other is ignoring inequality.
    Where you say “everyone deserves EQUAL rights….i know thats difficult for some to grasp”, I would say that yes, everyone deserves equal rights, but the reality right now is that everyone in society is NOT equal. Do you really think everyone is equal to begin with, and that any bonuses or special legislation for minorities therefore makes it unfair to the majority? These laws and programs exist because shit isn’t equal, as an attempt to help out the disadvantaged.

  81. JoelCodling Reply

    how does, say for example, paying for two health authorities make things equal when we are a bilingual province and one bilingual health authority can do the job?  and why does vitalite get 10 times the funding?  how does forcing the same bilingual laws and quotas in moncton area and say st stephen promote equality?  im almost 40 years old and havent spoken a word of french since high school in my community…….does it make sense to hold the same standards in every area of the province?  i wouldnt expect to go to a french community and expect half the people to speak english to me, it makes no sense

  82. Billeh Reply

    willrose Hey
    I’d like to start off by saying I’ve read many of your
    posts on that particular group, and they are always well-informed and
    rational… which explains why they’re usually met with such
    hostility. Although there are people making good points, they are
    always quickly drowned in a sea of ignorance. I guess that’s the
    crowd you attract when the group and petition’s name explicitly calls
    for stripping 30% of the population’s linguistic rights – Because
    that’s what it is.
    A discussion on official bilingualism and
    duality is certainly one we must have, as we can see from the rampant
    misinformation circulating on groups such as this one. Personally I
    strongly disagree with anyone who criticized Cardy for his bilingual
    school bus suggestion, but I also think it’s almost a non-issue. In
    small communities, it might be a good solution and I would support it
    if it does lead to some savings. But fact is that in many “bigger”
    (NB scale obviously) cities, the buses are already full of kids and
    there would be no reason to make them bilingual considering they go
    to separate schools.
    I think region-specific bilingual quotas
    isn’t entirely a bad idea. It boils down to whether or not we want to
    encourage and accommodate both linguistic groups’ mobility within the
    province. I’m somewhat on the fence on this one, what about you? On
    one side, if we are to be one united province it makes sense to make
    services available in both languages throughout the territory. We
    might as well split into 2 provinces if we’re going to make a clear
    dividing line in government services, health care and education. We
    do have a clear division in political allegiance already.
    wouldn’t call Kris Austin a bigot, but I wouldn’t call him competent
    either. He clearly showed in the CBC debate that he doesn’t really
    know much about the law and the provincial system. David Coon and
    Cardy made some good points on the other hand, but the PC lady made a
    bad name for Francophones in my opinion (which is why it’s a shame
    she was the only Acadian among the participants and will therefore be
    seen as talking for the rest of us).
    You put the nail on the head
    though : education is where we need to focus our attention. Bilingual
    quotas being 40% wouldn’t be an issue if our immersion program were
    fixed. But that’s not what these people are fighting for. Education
    is also very lackluster in the French districts. This is a
    province-wide problem that we should be addressing, but this Facebook
    group isn’t, and, as a province, we’re not either.
    I am
    Francophone, and I only really started being able to understand,
    write and speak basic English in 7th grade. I come from a
    mostly French region and had no need for English except for the
    hockey team – if even – until then. Throughout my teen years the
    only use I had for English was to understand song lyrics. I studied
    in Québec briefly after high school, then went to UMoncton and ended
    up landing a (temporary and underpaid, but that’s just the way she
    goes) job that doesn’t require me to ever speak English. To this day,
    the only times I’ve had to actually speak English was in English
    class, while traveling in the States, in stores and restaurants in
    South-Eastern NB, plus the odd conversation with Anglophone Nbers.
    Many Francophones are bilingual because they actively make an effort
    to be, outside school and language classes. They read English books
    with the help of a dictionary, they watch English TV and movies,
    browse English websites, etc. It’s true that the Acadians have a
    stronger motivation for learning English since they perceive being
    unilingual French as almost guaranteed unemployment, whereas the
    Anglophones take for granted that they can get by with being
    unilingual English. In a bilingual province (and I’m talking numbers,
    not official status) the reality is that bilingualism is a strong
    asset for anyone. Education is fundamental, but it’s rarely enough to
    learn a language. We do need to make second language training easily
    available to anyone who wishes to become bilingual if we want true
    equality. As it stands though, in regard to the public sector, I
    don’t see nearly as much inequality as anti-bilingualism groups
    claim. At the end of the day, over 50 % of provincial jobs are
    designated unilingual English, and it’s not like Anglophones are
    prevented from getting those designated bilingual jobs provided they
    learned French. But yeah, we’re going to need to address the
    education problem before we can come to any real solution.
    apologize for the long wall of text. I wanted to take the time to
    reply to your comment because I appreciate your contributions
    although from what I’ve seen on the Facebook group you often get
    called a “troll” (in the sense intended by middle-aged people who
    discovered the internet in 2010 obviously) even though such
    contributions are precisely what we need to have a real discussion.
    Have a good one!

  83. jimmyboy67 Reply

    Did you know that I don’t give a shit? English is the majority of New Brunswick and Canada. If you aren’t happy with that, move to Quebec

  84. commentsection Reply

    jimmyboy67 That’s a gross mentality, screw all minorities! And mandarin is biggest language in the world, better move to a different planet

  85. commentsection Reply

    Andmetoo “all services provided by the provincial government or a Crown corporation, by provincial law, is to be handled by governmentally certified bilingual staff” It’s not ALL services

  86. commentsection Reply

    jimmyboy67 Dude, lots of countries, states, or provinces have multiple cultures living in together. We’re here to stay, take the freaking hint.

  87. MomtoThree Reply

    “Francophones across Canada have been learning English on their own for decades.” So, improve your French by hanging out with some francophone friends? This is, to use your words, “mind-bogglingly entitled.”

    Not everyone lives in a home where one language is spoken, then steps out their front door to be immersed in a second language. And as someone who hung out with francophone friends- neither their grammar nor subject matter would have gotten me moved up a rating on the French language assessments.

    If the goal is to have a more bilingual workforce, speaking up against French language workplace training isn’t helping.

    And one of the questions is “How bilingual is enough?” Renewing your driver’s license in the language of your choice is a right. How broad a range of small talk the employee can make while doing that?  That’s part of the discussion. If it’s beyond the ability of a bright student who’s graduated from French Immersion…let’s talk about how we can make what’s required, and what’s taught, be in the same ballpark.

  88. jimmyboy67 Reply

    Absolutely…..but the others don’t push their language and culture on the majority. Keep pushing and round 2 of the expulsion may just come true.

  89. SMRT Reply

    Great reply… It’s always refreshing seeing moderates discuss.
    The sad, sad reality is I really don’t think there is suitable solution other than a division of the province based on linguistic boundaries, with separate governments.

  90. CdnGuy2015 Reply

    jimmyboy67 To paraphrase a Canadian boy from Saturday Night Live, Dan Ackroyd I’d like to say: Jimmyboy67 you ignorant slut, if you don’t “give a shit about the rest of the world”, I guess you’ll just shrivel up in your own lonely little corner of the world without knowing anything, and that’s to bad. I really feel sorry for you little man.

  91. jimmyboy67 Reply

    If they want to stay in French areas, they don’t have to learn English……….simple really.
    The problem is trying to turn places like Moncton French when they’ve been English forever

  92. Andmetoo Reply

    commentsection .. Yes, all public services provided by the provincial government are to be handled by governmental certified bilingual staff. In such a  case where staff or a member of the provincial government can  is NOT bilingual and not served in language of choice, a supporting member may be called into service.

  93. Andmetoo Reply

    jimmyboy67 WOW, you have to broaden your horizons my boy. There are many countries where the children easily learn 3-4 languages. We are so far behind the European countries in that manner that it’s absurd. You can only do better by learning another language. It not only increases  a person’s repertoire but  it has been proven to actually increase intelligence. We should be happy to have the French society in our midst, embracing them, instead of fighting them. Done properly like some of the European countries, we’d all be fluent in both languages but our government is about as bright as a bag of hammers !!  THAT is who we should be fighting. We should be demanding the both languages are taught properly in all school systems. Instead, they keep up fighting each other  to better control us.

  94. Andmetoo Reply

    SMRT I beg to differ .I think the worse thing we can do is to keep us separated . That’s the governments ploy ” keep ’em stupid and keep ’em fighting”. The Dames D’Acadie started that crap back in the ’70s and now look at us. What we need to do is get rid of the status quo government, elect those who embrace both English and French and see us as one community and as such, do whatever it takes to bring us together. We have to change OUR mindset to change the way we’re being treated.  Now that is just my opinion of course but after being in this province for nigh on 60 years, that’s the only solution I can see that would work.

  95. be_ct Reply

    CrazyNB Ian_92 KevinCollins1 JoelCodling
    If you’ve ever used translating software to try and translate something instantaneously, you’d quickly realize that it can often come out as something completely different than what was originally written. Translation software just doesn’t cut it. Not nowadays anyways (maybe in the future with technology though, but we’re very far from having the babelfish from Hitchhiker’s Guide). You -need- the original. Especially in life-threatening situations, i.e. medical situations. And as for the video calls, honestly, when I’m in a life threatening situation, I don’t think it’s ridiculous to prefer talking with a real person rather than a telephone. Because then you have to have a 3-way conversation with one person helping you who who’s taking orders from a telephone as well.
    Even New Denmark has nurses who speak their minority language (albeit danish, not french. This town (near Grand Falls) has an elder tiny population (very old) who speaks exclusively danish (they were settlers who moved in to grow potato fields a long while back). In order to be able to communicate with them, they have nurses (only a few, since the population is so small, but still a few) who come from denmark to be able to tend to them. Yes, there, speaking danish (of all languages) is an asset to getting the job. And I’m alright with that.
    When it comes to people’s health, you don’t do things half-ass with translation software or three-way telephone conversations, you need the real deal. Translation is exclusively used when there is no other feasible option (for example, a patient who speaks a minority language which is not widespread at all) because you obviously cant require 200 different nurses speaking all different mother tongues everywhere. And that’s not to mention that the elder (which are the most likely to be sick) usually don’t use scientific words to designate their body parts, so the nurses/doctors need to be able to interpret in the language of the patient. Only native speakers (or those who have lived in immersion) of a language pick up on those subtleties of language.
    Furthermore, for french, which is spoken by 30% of new brunswick’s inhabitants (and roughly a quarter of Canada), there is a population base large to require and provide the services, as well as the necessary staff coming from here (or other french speaking regions, since french is a very widespread language in the world) in order to fill positions.
    I don’t think it’s ridiculous at all to require sound language skills to be able effectively help 30% of your population in emergency situations, without having to resort to technology which is designed to “fill-in-the-gaps” (i.e., be  last resort).
    It’s like saying no one should drive with real brakes and we should remove them (and their extra cost) from cars since we all have access to emergency hand brakes. The technology is meant as a backup, not a first option.

  96. JoelCodling Reply

    like i said, im speaking from 20 years in emergency services, i ran into one language barrier…..korean….therefore, in my experience, it would have made more sense for me to know korean than french…..but what do i know, right…..i just spent two DECADES in the life threatening situations you speak of……pleae continue to educate me on something you obviously know absolutely nothing of

  97. be_ct Reply

    JoelCodling You’ve probably never ran into the case because as it is now, we have a mandatory percentage of bilingual staff. Therefore, they didn’t call YOU when they had to deal with french-speaking patients. Seems logical to me.

  98. be_ct Reply

    JoelCodling Why would they call you to treat french patients ? The way it is now, we already have bilingual staff, so they can call them instead. That’s logically why you’ve never had the situation for french. As for korean, well that’s different, you ran into that situation because we don’t have mandatory korean speaking staff.

  99. JoelCodling Reply

    you really have zero idea how emergency services work lol if you call for police fire or ambulance they dont ask what language you speak LMAO man……they send whoever is closest and available….youre speaking of logic that doesnt exist…..i live in an english community and served in that community….not everyone lives in the moncton area…..thats why i say the bilingual staffing levels dont need to be the same province wide, regionalize it……do you think when you call 911 theres a command center that tracks to see who is french on duty and who is english and sends the appropriate resources?  dude you need a dose of reality *shakes head*

  100. JoelCodling Reply

    Joseeanne they graduate and do testing for bilingual jobs and are told their french isnt good enough…..if they make it so french immersion is accepted and recognized then fine, as it sits now its useless, students put the time and effort in for nothing

  101. be_ct Reply

    JoelCodling Of course they won’t ask what language you speak. That would be stupid. They already know the second they pick up the phone. Don’t need to work at a hospital to figure that one out. Also, why do you write with 5-7 periods at the end of your sentences? One is fine.
    Anyways, the point is, bilingualism in place works where it is most employed and needed, (the bigger cities, as well the Bathurst-Moncton axis). After that, I’ll agree that smaller communities can have their own more flexible hiring practices (like the above-mentioned danish case). I’ll agree with you on that point that I also believe there’s no reason to have french speaking staff in Florenceville-Bristol or St Stephen’s, for example.
    My problem is that the anti-bilingualism group has a lot of people that want complete abolition of the bilingual hiring practices, or it’s abolition in regions where it is important, which is absurd. And my other problem is that it is full of nutbars like jimmyboy67 who have nothing better to do than swear at people they don’t know.

    The only cases I’ve heard about people calling out job hiring discrimination are in the larger cities, where there are significant populations of french-speaking inhabitants. And they’re making us all think that it’s the same everywhere, when it isn’t. If you have a solid example of someone from Florenceville-Bristol or St Stephen’s being denied a hospital job for lacking ability to speak french, please let me know.

  102. JoelCodling Reply

    i only speak for myself not everyone and ill put periods where i want, thanks…..and thats the problem, the hiring policies are the same everywhere, cities and rural communities, both english and french…..bilingualism needs to be regionalized, and the levels reflect the need in each area…..it needs to be fixed, it needs to be talked about, thats what i personally want……saying the entire province needs to have the same level of bilingualism makes no sense its not needed…….an example of people being denied because they arent french?  well, the paramedic situation, both unilingual english and french are denied full time positions and advancement…….unilingual english and french medics with years of experience who did their job just fine have left this province….that unacceptable, keep our skilled workers here…..bilingualism has its place in NB ill never deny that, duality such as having two health authorities, no thats wasteful…..and expecting the same level everywhere is driving people away and people are frustrated with it, “blanket bilingualism” for the entire province isnt necessary and doesnt work

  103. be_ct Reply

    JoelCodling We have 2 health authorities because we have close to 1 million inhabitants. Not because we have 2 language groups. It’s completely normal to have more than one health authority, and it has nothing to do with duplication of services. Nova Scotia has 4 health authorities which serve different regions. We have 2, but it just so happens that one is mainly in the french speaking geographical region, and the other in the mainly english speaking geographical reason. So one operates more in french, and the other operates more in english, but both are bilingual. It is a misconception (made by many) to think they overlap, and that leads people to believe it is duplication and waste of services. It isn’t. 
    As for the hiring policies, I’m still waiting for my example from Florenceville or St Stephen’s (or a similar place). The most known cases of job denial are in Moncton, which is the city in NB with the largest french speaking population. So there’s no surprise that we have bilingual preference there. Another known case is also the surgeon in St John region (Trenholm I think?), which may be debatable as to french/english requirements for the city, but St John still has 10% french-speaking inhabitants, which is a non-negligible portion.
    As for advancement in jobs, doesn’t that usually involve also having to move around a lot in the province? If so, would it not be justifiable to have language requirements to move around in a two-language province?

  104. Frisco D Reply

    Quebec has French road signs… big deal! Everyone understands
    “Maximum 100 km/h” (except those Imperial System people). But, in
    Quebec, ALL government services are available in both languages. The 7.8
    % of English-speaking people have their English school boards (plus
    three universities and a lot of English cegeps),
    their hospitals, their media, and they press “2 for English” if they
    can’t speak French. All that for just 7.8 % of the population.
    And some
    government websites in Quebec (cities, provincial gov., etc.) even have a
    Spanish and/or Portuguese version : http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/ES/apropos/vie_democratique/index.aspx 
    And guess what? There are no FB group calling for an end to services offered in other languages in Quebec. Are they less bigoted? Probably!

  105. SMRT Reply

    Hahaha Are you serious? Are you really using Quebec as an example of a bilingual utopia?
    At least New Brunswick’s Francophones and Anglophones can all agree that you are delusional.

  106. SMRT Reply

    There is a problem in New Brunswick, do I have the answer?
    Unfortunately no. However I’d still like to offer my 2 cents worth.

    First, I am an Anglophone so regardless of how hard I try to be
    objective, I will naturally gravitate towards pro-Anglo and to the Francophones
    I do apologize.
    The situation we are facing in New Brunswick is NOT:

    …because the government is pro-French, or;
    …because a majority of English just plain hate “the French”
    or vice versa.

    [My personal opinion] It’s because the system that was created was
    faulty from the beginning, however, before I continue let me be clear… the
    pre-bilingual system was bad and did marginalize the French in ways no
    Anglophone has ever experienced. (Haters… please don’t try and come up with
    some obscure one time example to prove me wrong, as a whole the French were 2nd
    class citizens in New Brunswick and “Anglophones” have and likely
    will never experience that).
    Now, back to my initial point regarding the post-bilingual systems
    shortcomings.The system was created to
    recognize the French language and make it equal to the English language. This also
    entailed giving equal opportunity to Francophones for public jobs.In addition, the Education system was split
    and a dual system created to preserve the French language (this was a direct
    reaction to assimilation), the same can be said for the Health authorities (not
    dual), though bilingual they essentially have separate working languages. 

    What has happened is the system has morphed into something it wasn’t
    supposed to be… it is “somewhat” [please pay close attention to my
    use of “somewhat” meaning not exact] comparable to “some”
    of those out-of-control Unions, whereby, the public (and majority) perceives
    the perks its members enjoy as over-the-top.Sometimes the Union will flex its muscle just to make itself still seem
    relevant.For instance, drunk drivers
    getting off because of language, I don’t care about the Charter so please don’t
    quote that, I’m talking about common sense.Driving drunk is wrong and a crime in French or English, Black or White. 

    [Please don’t ask me to provide more exact examples etc… any moderate
    thinking individual French or English knows exactly what I’m referring to] 

    What I’m alluding to above is exactly why that “Referendum on
    Bilingualism” Facebook Group has so many members, and maybe I’m wrong, but
    I really don’t think the majority of the people in it are bigots or Anti French
    Crusaders, the majority are likely moderate individuals who are being swept up
    in a populist movement.The majority of
    the posters who are spewing garbage are a very small number and unfortunately
    the loudest.The other 9,900 don’t
    comment, they read…”look but don’t touch.” 

    So why have the French excelled so much better than the English at
    learning a 2nd language (this statement is 100% supported by the Language
    Commissioners recent report)?
    1) They are surrounded by an English speaking majority (regarding
    Canada & the US), population wise the French speaking population between
    the 2 countries is approximately 2.7% of over 355 MM people.The majority of media, TV, Internet content,
    News etc… is in English so it is natural for Francophones to pick up
    English.In addition, to travel outside
    of NB and Quebec it is a necessity (in most circumstances).This is the number one reason and no one can
    deny this.
    2) The Immersion program is a farce… no further comment required
    French and English can all agree on that one. 

    3) Because of duality, English parents cannot enroll their children in
    French Schools (Only French blood, a graduate of a French high school or one of
    the parent’s successfully passing a French competency exam can enroll).Yes many of you will comment that they can’t
    enroll because they are not at the proper level of French competency, but that
    is the problem… 

    4) Yes, I believe there is also some level of “Anti French”
    whereby English families choose to keep their children English which is not any
    of our problems because I believe the number of these individuals is very low. 

    I agree with bilingualism, wholeheartedly, but there is a serious
    deficiency in the current system right from grade 1… The majority of
    Anglophones will never be able to become bilingual under the present system, so
    yes they are at a disadvantage. They will never be able to compete with a
    Francophone for those 40% bilingual government jobs (I believe it is 40%, if I’m
    wrong please correct me)
    So with all of this being said it is only natural for resentment from
    the English majority because their perception is that Francophones are favored,
    which is not the case.However, how can
    an English majority immerse themselves in French culture (like some people have
    suggested) in their overwhelmingly English communities? They can’t, plain in
    What happens when a large population is at a disadvantage (even
    indirectly)?Exactly, what is happening
    now and it is compounded by our economic situation. 

    What is the solution? I don’t know…

  107. JoelCodling Reply

    we will never agree……..i will just agree to disagree, thanks for at least talking about the issue, its more than the government is willing to do

  108. jimmyboy67 Reply

    Your 4 points are dead on the money…….well said.
    As far as the horrible conditions the French experienced, that is in the past and most present day Francophones never experienced them.

  109. JoelCodling Reply

    there are 2 hospitals in moncton, one horizon one vitalite……how doe that serve different geographical regions?

  110. be_ct Reply

    In french schools, english is mandatory starting at grade 4 or 5 (dont know the exact time but its around that).

    In english schools, mandatory french courses are at about the same time (as far as i can remember, but its been a while Ive walked my elementary school halls).
    Id like to find a link as reference but unfortunately the curiculum is hard to find online so I need to go by memory for that one.

    French immersion is optional for english speaking students, not forced. I believe 1 in 8 students use the program.

    English immersion does not exist since it would be of no use, seen as how we all live in North America, and learning english is much easier.

  111. JoelCodling Reply

    french immersion, or “intensive french” is forced, mandatory, in grade 5, with no option to say no…..normal french classes, again, i have no issue with….its forced language programs like this that are unfair

  112. jimmyboy67 Reply

    Joseeanne Arrogant pieces of work like you piss me off.  I have lived in Moncton for all 47 years of my life, and for most of them, has not been considered a bilingual city.
    So don’t you dare tell me that I shouldn’t be living in a bilingual city.  I didn’t get a vote and neither did anyone else to turn Moncton into a bilingual city.
    Bilingualism creates jobs?  For Francophones sure.  Do you really think the Anglophones would have ever wanted NB to be bilingual?  Of course not.  It is a great think to learn more than one language, but nobody should ever be discriminated against, or have to feel guilty for being unilingual. 
    The biggest reason Anglophones are getting upset these days is because there is a small number of Francophones who are causing a lot of trouble when they can’t get service in French, even though they are bilingual.  The “acadian society” is famous for this.
    Not every French person can, or will speak English, how conceited are you?  The reason is most of this province, including Moncton has been mostly English forever.  Look around, movies, TV, businesses for the most part are English.  Of course it’s easy for people to learn English, the same way it would have been for someone like me to become fluently bilingual growing up in Caraquet, or Shippagan or Lameque.

  113. jimmyboy67 Reply

    Andmetoo jimmyboy67 Broaden my horizons?  Really?  Why?
    FYI, I took french immersion and can speak, read and write french, I’m just not fluent as I don’t do it often.
    And by the way, it isn’t just the English fighting the French, it goes both ways.

  114. JoelCodling Reply

    have fun supporting your buddy while you guzzle the propoganda kool aid kevin…..they arent teaching much in political science these days are they

  115. jimmyboy67 Reply

    be_ct JoelCodling I suppose you think it’s ok for Saint John hospitals to require bilingual nurses too?  Fucking bullshit, this province is a fucking toilet.

  116. be_ct Reply

    JoelCodling Interesting how you don’t answer to his/her comment and just resort to calling him/her young. Have you run out of arguments?

  117. be_ct Reply

    JoelCodling Hmm commenting is starting to get difficult with the tight space, but here goes.
    I think immersion is a great thing at a young age. It’s scientifically proven that learning a second language very early on greatly increases success in life, and cognitive abilities. That means learning to think in 2 different languages helps all other subject matter too (math, history, it even improves understanding of one’s native language) There’s loads of scientific studies on the matter all confirming this (and ill be glad to reference them to you if you need).
    And I believe it’s also logical to learn the second language you are most likely to encounter in life, which in the case for NB is definitely french. I saw some people post earlier that we should be teaching our kids spanish, which although not necessarily a bad idea, given our geographic location, we are far more likely to encounter and hear french often in our lives than spanish.

  118. JoelCodling Reply

    ok “minority whites rule over majority blacks and make all the rules in south africa” – apartheid

    “minority french rule over majority english and make all the rules in NB” – ???

  119. JoelCodling Reply

    less than 50% of NBers can read at a high school level…..look at those cognitive abilities http://www.nbliteracy.ca/literacy-experts-issue-call-to-action/ yep, lowest test results in the country….look at NB goooooo http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/tests-show-provincial-differences-in-math-reading-science-education/article20955151/

  120. jimmyboy67 Reply

    be_ct JoelCodling Studying other languages is a benefit, but your theory is not correct according to Statistics Canada:

    Over half of New Brunswick is functionally illiterate. Take some time and allow that statement to sink in.
    According to Statistics Canada, 53 per cent of high school graduates in New Brunswick are not functionally literate; many have never picked up a book.
    They may be able to read or write basic, applicable sentences or terms, and identify street signs, but not much else. Our province simply does not meet the standard of literacy that most of Canada does.
    A study done by Statistics Canada revealed that, “Although Canadian students performed well overall, second only to Finnish students in reading performance, students from French minority language school systems in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba performed at significantly lower levels than their counterparts in English school systems, and performed below the international average.”

  121. jimmyboy67 Reply

    commentsection I don’t see anything wrong with those statements because governments are famous for giving small populations more rights than the majority.

  122. jimmyboy67 Reply

    commentsection Nb tax payer It’s called favouritism and pity……..poor little minority groups were punished hundreds of years ago they were treated poorly so we must make it up to them.  BS

  123. JoelCodling Reply

    i use my second language every day at work, havent used french since high school french class 20 years ago, yet my second language isnt good enough for you simply because it isnt french

  124. be_ct Reply

    A correction: In your last article, it’s manitoba that has the lowest reading scores, not new brunswick. Please look at facts before presenting them. If I need to read my own articles and yours in order to debate, I will be wasting my time.
    And for NB It’s normal for a population who has lived on agriculture for a significant part of their history to lag behind on literacy in the 21st century. I know at least for the french part (which is a third of the populace), that they’ve been living in isolation and on agriculture from the post-deportation period up until the 1950s, with the first university appearing in 1960s.You can’t possibly expect such a huge leap in academy to happen in just 1 or 2 generations. You usually need literate parents, then educated parents, then college/university educated parents. You need to understand the history of NB to make sense of it.

  125. be_ct Reply

    Yes well cases like you are very rare. The second most heard language in NB is without a doubt french.

  126. JoelCodling Reply

    i stand corrected, we are second to last by 4 points, thats way more acceptable 🙂 most of the province has lived on agriculture for a significant part of their history, my area still does….i do understand the history of NB, i expect more for us……no excuses

  127. Samuel Saintonge Reply

    I will weigh in on this debate and hopefully provide my 2 cents. Full disclosure I attended UNB between 1996 and 2000 and if some of you are interested in doing some research you will see that I love UNB and committed thousands of hours to its student experience!  :o) I was also a uni-lingual Francophone until the age of 15. fast Forward to now..I am officially Multilingual and learning a another language since my wife is from Bulgaria! Yea hard to believe I want to learn a language that ONLY 9 million people speak…Why would I want to learn that language (sarcasm). 

    I have traveled the world and met thousands of people since I graduated from UNB and guess what I met lots of people  that speak second languages and it was not  “because they were surrounded by an environment that promoted learning a second language. ” Just the other day I had a full-on conversation with a Bostonian (our daughter is born there and I have business there) that spoke an amazing French. I asked her where she learned to speak French. OMG I could not believe it!  She learned her French at University. yes at University – 4 years, 3 hours per week in a class , 26 weeks per year IN BOSTON. Do that math that is 312 hours over a 4 year span add to that conversations outside of the class room bamm 500 hours in a 4 year span….That is IT! CAN you IMAGINE THAT. SHE LEARNED SOMETHING AT UNIVERSITY! LOL

    Ok she might be gifted, let’s say that she was…are we, as New Brunswickers that deficient in learning things? If it takes only 500 hours for an individual  to learn a language in her late teens early twenties,  then lets say it might take a slow learner 3000 hours to learn a language. Hummm you see where I am going wit this. What is wrong with us! people it is NOT the system and the environment 

    As a Parliamentary Page in 1995  I met 39 OTHER amazing Canadians from Coast to Coast to Coast that learned French outside of New Brunswick…yes even in Vancouver people that want to learn French actually can!

    The debate is not about “environment”, “bad teachers”, or “terrible system” let’s call a spade a spade…People that DO NOT want to learn a language that was not spoken in their household will not want to learn a second language…Period.. 

    But wait if the government comes in and says “if you want to work within our organisation you need to speak BOTH official languages” now for some, those are fighting words! Yes fighting words!  

    How dare the government mandate it’s people to learn another language when I am the mighty tax payer! Wait, that is a HUGE problem and we need to “DUMB” down our hiring requirements! (sarcasms) Oh well now..

    But what about the cost issue… the cost issue.. don’t even go there. It is the people that only know one language that is actually costing  taxpayers money.  It is not the people that made learning a priority to become bilingual that are at fault people!  Having an educated populace is a net positive folks!!! The most educated people on the planet have never made language and issue, want to know why, because they make HUGE contributions to society with their acquired  knowledge in their field and THEY DO NOT need to know another language to excel and thrive in their lives!  

    They are not worried about someone at a call center making 2 bucks more an hour because they are bilingual. Or NOT getting a job interview because they ARE NOT bilingual these leaders in the world have made a name for THEMSELVES period!   Nothing was given to them, they earned it! Just like people that are multilingual have earned it! 

    So for the people that  want to stay in their little area of the world and fight against harmony and progress regardless of cause, then go ahead and join organisation that promote assimilation, “exclusion” and hatred. ISIS is recruiting i hear…and so is a Facebook page called Referendum on Bilingualism 2014!

  128. to the point Reply

    Samuel Saintonge have you read any history books the british won the war case closed,we are under british commonwealth monarch and flying an acadian flag is treason period…..

  129. Alvar Reply

    I will give my Input here on this controversy as a student and rising working citizen of New Brunswick. I have lived in Saint John my entire life, made many friends here, love the city, and was very passionate about building a career here once I graduate from university. I’ve worked hard and have received good marks in school. To begin with, I am not narrow minded or racist. I am very interested in other cultures and languages.I would love to learn as many languages as I can.

    That being said, I have come across situations where I have been turned away from jobs just because I do not speak completely fluent French. I do agree that some jobs do require completely bilingual workers, but not all of these jobs fit in that category. This issue as I’ve seen has not only happened to me, but even those with many more qualifications and experiences. I have also come across circumstances where I have been given looks of disgust because I’m not bilingual. I shouldn’t have to tell you how awful that made me feel. As I’ve been following this debate, I have noticed people throwing the word racist or ‘narrow minded’ around a lot especially to those who are anti bilingual. To be completely honest, racism is not going in just one direction, but both ways here in New Brunswick. The issue of people being against bilingualism is only the surface of a deep rooted issue. 

    I have friends of many different races that I have spoken to about this rising issue. One friend who was in complete French immersion speaks French very fluently and was turned down a job because she wasn’t bilingual enough. Another friend of mine was bilingual enough to get into a job that required bilingual citizens. This friend told me that despite the job requiring bilingualism it was 95% English.

    Other articles such as that from Shaun Waters, have highlighted issues such as individuals seeking training programs to improve their bilingualism and being told that there is “[nothing] like that”.  How are people who have worked hard for the qualifications they need supposed to find a job If there is nothing they are able to do to be Bilingual enough to get that Job? The problem here is that equality is non-existent at this point. If this province is to insist on bilingualism being required for government jobs, then they need to insist on every individual or students to come out of schools bilingual. Then we are headed in the direction of equality.

    As it is now, the city I love and had hoped to build a career in is not dependable enough for me to know I’ll get a job here If I have the right qualifications. I am now looking at leaving New Brunswick for good. Let me tell you, it is not only me who has been looking at the option to leave the province because of this bilingual debate. Many students and working citizens I have talked to have also been thinking of leaving. Not because we don’t like French or are narrow minded about learning new languages. That is CERTAINLY NOT the issue, but because we are afraid that staying here, there is no courses or training we can do to become bilingual enough to be hired.

  130. Pom Reply

    I feel forced to put my son into French immersion. That is if I want him to be able to fairly compete for all job opportunities.
    That is how I feel… Backed into a corner. Maybe some NB’rs.feel the same way. Maybe that is where some of the frustration comes from..IMHO

  131. Seritoga13 Reply

    hkbobo If the Anglophone people had not been so scared of being called bigots and racists when all of this started it would not be where it stands today.  There comes a time when you have to be more afraid of losing your voice and rights than being labeled by those who are exhibiting the actions that  they are trying to label the Anglophone people for.

    We should not be responsible to preserve another groups language, or heritage.  We are responsible for our own, and only our own.

  132. Seritoga13 Reply

    Joseeanne The difference is that poor English both spoken or written is considered bilingual….Not so with the French language.  I have come across many francophone people who speak very poor English, so much so that I had no idea what they were saying…But they are considered bilingual….
    The scale does not balance.  It is not the fact that English can’t or won’t learn French, it is the fact that no matter how well they pick it up, they will never be as good an a francophone person at the language…And there is the division line….

  133. Rhona muir Reply

    Pam from what I am understanding about the language situation, as it now stands in NB, you are probably not doing your son any favours.
    His grades, in all subjects, will probably suffer as he struggles with his French skills and when he is ready to enter the NB workforce, his French will not be good enough to secure a good paying government job…these seem to be reserved for the French, most of whom have poor English skills.

  134. Rhona muir Reply

    Yes, if my child wanted to learn another language, I would be very proud also. The problem is that English children are being FORCED to take French because the parents of these children FEAR their children will not be able to secure meaningful employment upon graduation unless they take French.
    Parents, if you really want to help your children, join an organization and stand up for the rights of your children.

  135. Rhona muir Reply

    They are, theoretically being forced into French, because their parents fear they will have little chance of meaningful employment,in New Brunswick, without French immersion.

  136. Rhona muir Reply

    Exactly! I would be perfectly comfortable, and I assume most Anglos would agree, that the number of French/bilingual positions should reflect the number of French/bilingual persons in that geographical area.

  137. Rhona muir Reply

    Although government would like us to believe otherwise, I don’t feel bilingualism is attracting those call centres to New Brunswick as much as government dollars & concessions being given them.

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