Over the past 5 years there have been 30,665 graduates from high school in the Anglophone system. Of those, only 1158 graduated with a proficiency in French of intermediate 2 or better. That’s 4 percent.
Project that over the past 30 years and you find that only 6, 948 would be considered bilingual out of 183,990 graduates.
This from government documents.
While this was happening, the job market was changing. The elevation of French in importance in the job market was increasing rapidly. French was not only rising in government but due to the 2012 amendment to the official languages act, companies contracted to government were now required to provide service in French as well.
The point here is not that there should be no French service but that the requirement for it was expanding rapidly and the Anglophone community was and is unilingual. As Anglos retired, many jobs that had been done in English for decades were now designated “ bilingual required” and Anglos no longer filled these positions.
This evolution of Anglos out of the New Brunswick work place ( especially all areas under the official languages act) continues today.
The result is an imbalance of participation between the two communities where the Francophone community now has a majority involvement in numerous government departments and agencies and companies contracted to government.
There has been a change in attitude toward this apparent imbalance between the two communities by the Francophone leadership. In the 1970s there was great consternation among the French people over their lack of participation in the civil service. So much so, that a commission was created, hearings held and the Poirier Bastarache report presented to government. That report stated that there was a
“””necessity of assuring an equitable representation of both language groups in the public service”””
They understood that the public service means more than just jobs but it drafts legislation, decides on hiring employees and companies, sets government priorities and steers politicians toward decisions. They demanded that Francophones be part of that.
Today Anglophone participation is down to 48% and dropping. Not bad for a 68% majority eh. It’s a perfect storm. Government isn’t doing anything about it. Anglophones themselves are apathetic or un-informed and more and more outsiders from Quebec and the Francophonie countries are coming in to fill this need for a bilingual work force.
So where are they now, those thousands of young Anglophones who graduated over the past 30 years? And what of those next 6000 graduating this spring?
For those that like the path we are on , who like to see Anglos getting the short end of the stick, it’s about denial. Deny the numbers. Muddy the water. Keep the imbalance growing.
In the next post we’ll look at what the Anglophone community needs to do.