As published in the Daily Gleaner February 9, 2006
Views expressed by individuals in these letters are not necessarily the views of the Anglo Society of New Brunswick
by Matthew Glenn
In a recent article, entitled “Watchdog: Improve Bilingual Services,” Language Commissioner Michel Carrier stated that systemic issues must be addressed before “true equality” can be achieved.
New Brunswick tax payers should be prepared for yet another expensive French language expansion.
New Brunswick teachers have been constantly complaining about oversized classes and work overload. Under the present structure; it is impossible to find time in the curriculum to extend or create more French language classes without jeopardizing other subjects.
There are also many issues on the English side of the equation, such as employee harassment.
Such an example would see a unilingual English government employee taking a call from another government department. The caller demands to be addressed in French but the business portion of the call is conducted in English.
Who are the individuals complaining to the commissioner’s office about not enough services in French?
Mr. Carrier reported that his office received 81 complaints in 2005 concerning the lack of French services and less than 10 concerning English. It would appear that English citizens, with a few exceptions, are too passive and fear being call a bigot to complain.
Many call our Anglo Society with their concerns, recently six complaints in one week.
For the convenience of those who may encounter problems in the future, we will be including the language commissioners office phone number and email address on our www.asnb.ca web site.
This article indicated that 60 percent of the NB government workers only speak English, which means that 40 percent speak French.
That should be adequate to serve 30 percent or less of the population.
It is a know fact that many French New Brunswickers prefer service in English.
The millions of dollars needed to make our government more bilingual could be better spent in our hospitals providing more beds and staff to reduce waiting time for essential services.
President, Anglo Society of NB