New Brunswick Official Languages ​​Act Revision Calls For Dedicated Department – New Brunswick | The Canadian News

A report was released on Wednesday on the revision of the Official Languages ​​Act in New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially bilingual province.

The Official Languages ​​Law is revised once every decade, with the aim of offering a better understanding and implementation of the province’s language laws, as well as promoting a better understanding of the often divisive language laws.

The report was led by two commissioners, Judge Yvette Finn and the retired Deputy Minister of the English-speaking sector of the Department of Early Childhood Education and Development, John McLaughlin.

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Several recommendations were outlined to better ensure that the province fulfills its constitutional responsibilities regarding bilingualism.

The most important of these was the implementation of a Department of Official Languages, to act as a central resource for everything related to the Law of Official Languages.

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Finn said he feels the lack of such a department “is what is holding back the progress we can make as a bilingual province” and wants it to be installed as soon as possible.

The report also called for the creation of a standing committee on this issue in the Legislative Assembly, something Prime Minister Higgs has resisted in the past.

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“We just thought it would be a great effort if our elected officials met to discuss official languages ​​and bilingualism. […] in a constructive way, ”McLaughlin said, calling for better understanding among language communities.

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The Acadian Society of New Brunswick was pleased with the report. President Alexandre Cédric Doucet said his organization “welcomes the work of the two commissioners and we will work with the government to ensure the adoption of a bill for a revised New Brunswick Official Languages ​​Act as soon as possible.”

Other suggested measures included revising the Official Languages ​​Act every five years instead of every 10 years and including nursing homes in the Act to ensure patients have access to care in their official language.

Constitutional lawyer reacts

Constitutional lawyer and linguistic law expert Michel Doucet is unsure that a Department of Official Languages ​​is the best solution, for fear of creating a situation where other departments feel they no longer have responsibilities related to official bilingualism.

There is no time frame within which the provincial government is obligated to respond and it is not obligated to follow any of the report’s recommendations.

Doucet says that now the question is: “When will a new amendment to the Official Languages ​​Law be presented, if ever?”

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