NB Premier delays province’s response to Official Languages ​​Act recommendations – New Brunswick | Globalnews.ca

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announced that he will delay the province’s response to recommendations on improvements to the Official Languages ​​Act until the fall.

The report, prepared and presented by Justice Yvette Finn and John MacLaughlin, made several key recommendations, including the creation of a Department of Official Languages ​​and a standing committee within the legislature.

That was six months ago.

In a self-imposed deadline, Higgs promised there would be a response by the end of June.

Read more:

NB language commissioner ‘very disappointed’ by silence on recommendation

“At this point, I haven’t been able to have that level of conversation, in depth, about what this means across the province, what (are) the implications, and can we really deliver on something that’s being committed. ”, he said speaking to reporters on Thursday. “Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to land on that stage at the moment.”

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He said more time is needed to figure out how certain recommendations might affect different departments. In a press release, he said the municipal reform also complicates his ability to respond to the recommendations.

On Thursday, Higgs did not directly say when an answer could be expected in the fall.

“It’s a lengthy report,” he said. “If we implement this correctly, people will know that it makes sense. We are recognizing the rights and obligations and we are doing it in a way that really promotes the two cultures of our province.”

Higgs said the delay is about “getting it right.”

“We need more time to consider the best structure to deliver services within all parts of government. At the end of the day, we want to provide the best possible services in the most effective way.”

However, an organization representing francophones in the province says this decision shows a lack of leadership on the part of the prime minister.

The president of the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick, Alexandre Cedric Doucet, said the government failed to meet its own self-imposed deadline.

The report was originally filed on December 15, 2021.

“We’re six months away from that and I think the government has plenty of time to take concrete action, so today is just, it just sends a negative message to the Acadian community,” he said.

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Doucet is not alone in expressing disappointment in today’s announcement.

The official languages ​​commissioner issued a statement on Friday.

“I am disappointed that the government is still unable to tell us what its intentions are regarding the review of the Official Languages ​​Lawmore than six months after the conclusion of Commissioners Finn and McLaughlin’s consultation work,” he said in an emailed statement.

Shirley MacLean has criticized the government’s silence on the report’s recommendations.

“What good is a review process when the government does not provide a response to ensure that the recommendations resulting from the consultations are implemented in a timely manner? that of our province Official Languages ​​Law and two linguistic communities deserve better”.

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