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UNB needs a francophone association

There is a rift in New Brunswick. It isn’t physical. It isn’t even cultural. It’s mental. The silent majority of this province believes in duality and bilingualism. As I do, they see beauty in diversity, and understand the importance of maintaining a society which supports many nations in the fulfillment of their national goals, while uniting us all as inhabitants of a shared territory and as neighbours in a shared experience.

On the other side of this growing rift. there are Anglophones and Francophones who have refused to see the world as we do. They lay blame on one another for our common troubles and would rather starve than feed each other.

This column is not about them. I have denounced their hatred once and will not be mired in it again.

This column is about the silent majority and what we can do to mend this divide.

Here at UNB I propose a club. A quick survey of the active clubs and societies here on campus tells me that there is everything from a Bangladesh Cultural Society to a Thai Student Association, but that there is nothing dedicated to Acadian and French language and culture. With your help, dear reader, this can change.

I am officially calling for the creation of the Acadian, Francophone and Francophile Student Association (AFFSA). The object of this club would be to provide a welcoming environment in which students may express themselves in French, meet other French-speaking and francophile students, and discuss issues relating to la francophonie both on campus and in the wider community.

In order to make this a reality, we would need an executive. If you are interested in taking on the role of president, vice president, treasurer, or secretary, if you are interested in being a member, or if you just want to get in touch, contact me at alec.boudreau@unb.ca and we’ll chat. If you choose to send me hate mail instead, please note that I will post it publicly on my own pages.

I know that starting a club is not going to change the world, but it’s my worldview that the world changes one club at a time. Join me. We’ll see where it takes us.

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20 Comments

  1. StephanieHaslam Reply

    Alec, You clearly are not reading all the comments posted on the referendum website. Many are willing to work together, but not getting any answer from government. Soon, some of your fellow students will be looking for jobs. Some will look towards applying for jobs in government. They will find their options limited, as they must be bilingual for many of the positions.  They will encounter a huge brick wall. We have an education system churning out graduates, who are not considered bilingual enough for these positions. You will be hearing about these problems from your friends soon enough, and I hope then you will have the grace to print a retraction.

  2. TrishBabineau Reply

    StephanieHaslam The Referendum website is now a Closed group. A lot of members who asked uncomfortable and real questions were blocked as ”dissenters”, so he may not be reading any at all anymore anyway. The misinformation on there about Acadians would literally fill a book, yet each time a francophone would point that out, they were immediately shut down and the facts were called lies or propaganda. Immediately. I was a member of the group, and the intensity of hatred and bigotry from SOME (and yes, definitely not all) members was atrocious and needed to be called out. I would do the same if they were francophones (in fact, I have, here in Quebec) as I did on that page. And at that time, ALL of those comments and posts were PUBLIC.
    Why would he need to print a ”retraction”? For what? He is allowed to write opinion pieces. Nothing in his previous ”letter” would require a retraction, nor does this post.

  3. StephanieHaslam Reply

    TrishBabineau StephanieHaslam 
    Trish, I am so sorry that that was your experience. As you have said, this happens in other groups too and, yes, people doing that should be called out by other members, and in fact  they have been. There is a lot of frustration over the lack of equality now in New Brunswick, and being ignored by our elected representative only adds to it. I hope when Alec begins hearing from his unilingual peers about their lack of opportunity, he will see the other side of the coin and, perhaps, mitigate his opinion somewhat. Finding common ground is what is important right now. Why not begin a Francophone/Anglophone society and build some bridges?

  4. TrishBabineau Reply

    StephanieHaslam TrishBabineau It was a very unfortunate experience indeed. Especially being removed from the group (as were many, many others) simply for sharing a different opinion. That is done by the admins, so one can only assume from it that it is the general position of the group, unfortunately. It certainly doesn’t satisfy me as to the position that it isn’t anti-anything. If there was nothing bad to hide and the intentions were clear, why then remove people who think differently? Why close the group after removing so many ”francophone sympathizers’ as one of the admins put it? Forgive me, but from where I sit, this just looks like ”let’s go undercover of a closed group so these people don’t see what we write” and that makes me think the group and page have even more to hide. I like transparency, especially when discussing something that has political aspirations.
    As to Alec and his column where he published first an open letter and now this request, I still don’t see the problem or the need for retraction. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about what Alec has or has not heard or will hear from uniligual friends. Perhaps he has heard the stories, and still does not agree. Nothing in his open letter was factually incorrect. And you cannot ask someone to retract an opinion…as to the Francophone society he proposes, why question it? Do you not understand what ”francophile” means? Nowhere in Alec’s description of the group he proposes does he exclude Anglophones or bilingual people, not at all. So I’m sure that other group you suggest starting is fine, but so is the one this guy wants to start.

  5. codesroc Reply

    Wow for your sake i hope you are not majoring in journalism. So you claim that majority are in favor of duality and bilingualism. Well you are half right….well to a certain point. Bilingualism is supported in NB, but a major overhaul us needed to get NB out of the 1950s segregation ways. Everyone has the.right to be served in their main language. However the francophonie associations in this province reminds me of a fat kid in a all you can eat candy store. They want and want and take and take. Now things are outta hand. It to the point thay graduating high school with a bilingual diplomaeans nothing when getting a govt job. Hell i know of numerous people born amd raised in a biling family….speak fluently and has worked for years for the govt. But when time comes to apply for a internal job they need to under go a prov proficiency exam….that is extremely hard to pass even for those that are more french then english. Also let me run this by you….how can the french population demand more and more when you guys can even figure out what french your speaking. I mean currently you have sheiac french…acadie french….quebec french….parisian french….and for those “acadian” down in louisiana you have cajun french. Think.about it. I can go on about biling in this province but have the feeling im already stepping on toes…..so on to duality.
    Duality….makes sense…only if you were dropped on your head as a infant maybe. Let me ask you this…is duality working? Well unless you are unfamiliar with what the definition of bankruptcy means then sure believe it is working. Now to those of us with any form of education and life experiences….bankruptcy is a bad thing….means the debt is too much to sustain an economy. Sure you want to have education in french…by all means thats your given right. You want french medical clinics and hospitals…sure thing again..
    .just better make sure all the staff can speak and pass a english proficiency exam like the anglophones and bilings have to go through. But seriously you need two education systems….two health networks…..two school transportation systems???? This is where that fat kid is munching away at the buffet…by buffet i mean the NB econony. So does this mean the francophonie associations believe its ok to make our kids and future generations believe segregation is ok….if your french. Maybe you should start asking the francophonie associations to start making it law that every public bathroom be seperated into a english and french bathroom….after all why not make everything duality. Its killing the economy….forcing bankruptcy…..forcing people to move away. This is making NB the laughing stock of canada. Are you familiar with what happens when a province when it goes bankrupt??? The federal government steps in…takes over the province. They cut and close what ever schools they see fit…whatever hospital they choose….cut off all that precioys funding to both english and francophonnie groups and organizations…..and then in the end they will still do away with duality as they see it as a double expense. So maybe this is the future you cherish then by all means continue on your destructive path. But come to reality and really see whats going on…not from a anglophone eyea or a francophones eyes or even a bilings eyes….but as a third person thats not biased.

  6. TrishBabineau Reply

    StephanieHaslam In fact, his group could be great to help other students. They could have French tutoring programs for those very graduates you speak of, they could even function as a bridge between students and the university as it pertains to things like curriculum or bilingualism.

  7. deke mason Reply

    I don’t know where you get your info from Alec but I dare you to show it to me. The “Silent Majority” as you put it are staunchly appose to “Dulaity” and “Bilingual Legislation”. And real diversity exists only in a society in which people are free to converse and transact in what ever language they choose. Language laws and government funded language groups are indorsing a fascist cultural engineering program which has its roots planted in a supremacist ideology.

  8. ExoticOrchid Reply

    TrishBabineau StephanieHaslam Learning French at the university level is a bit late! Language is to be learned at the school buses. Go tell your Education Minister.  🙂

  9. ExoticOrchid Reply

    TrishBabineau 

    That group is an open group on facebook. Everyone can read the content and can comment there, if they join the group. Unless you have been a shit disturber, or maybe you misbehaved. So sorry it sounds like you got kickout. It is no wonder, just the way you are accusing people, spreading rumours about intensity of hatred and bigotry. That must be because you really are full of BS.  

    I am an UNB alumnus. What are you are doing on Brunswickan? Coming here to stir up shit again? Some old, some old, that is Trish Babineau, just full of it.:)

  10. ExoticOrchid Reply

    TrishBabineau  It is a closed group now!. It must be because of too many people talking BS  like you. Thank God that you are gone!

  11. ExoticOrchid Reply

    TrishBabineau You are full of it !!! That is why you got kick out of that facebook group. Now you are on my university paper to spread your BS. Go stir shit up at U de M, if you have guts. Ask for an English Cultural Club there. The little boy, Alec does not need your foolish support. He is not a puppet on your strings, I hope.

  12. alumofold Reply

    “As I do, they see beauty in diversity, and understand the importance of
    maintaining a society which supports many nations in the fulfillment of
    their national goals”….umm, I’m sorry, but are we not ONE nation?  Just whose national goals are you speaking of?  And if you are going to state something as a fact, as in, “The silent majority of this province believes in duality and bilingualism” , let’s just say, you had better be able to back it up with more than just words…Honestly, is this what passes for the Bruns these days?  I see standards have gone way down since the ’80’s….And I totally believe in bilingualism.  In fact, I took French at UNB, as well as U de M and UQTR, 98th percentile in testing, yet no NB gov’t job for me…sorry, you don’t qualify as bilingual.  My anglophone friends made fun of my French accent while speaking English for goodness sake…Got along quite well in Montreal, but not in Fredericton…strange, isn’t it…

  13. TrishBabineau Reply

    ExoticOrchid TrishBabineau What on earth are you on about? This is the internet, don’t you realize how it works? You don’t police the UNB page or the internet. Hahaha!
    As to being kicked out, of course I was. That’s the whole point of my above comment, that I was kicked out for having a different opinion, like many others.
    Also, what are you, 14? ”Misbehaving and shit disturbing?”? Bahahaha! 
    Thanks. You’ve been amusing to converse with, to say the least! Lmao!

  14. ExoticOrchid Reply

    TrishBabineau 

    Please, grow up!

    You must have nothing better to do, other than trolling the internet and causing troubles with all your BS.

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