Once again the Cons have failed to keep a promise. Once again the Cons have asked for a report and then turfed it.
Once again the students in New Brunswick suffer.
We have an issue in this province with not providing half decent second language education and it is not getting any better.
The students of this province need to go to school and expect that the education department has been given the mandate to provide them with the best possible education and as has happened far to often and with far to much regularity over many Con and Liberal governments the students in this province are given a half assed attempt at second language education and then blamed when they don’t meet the qualifications for bilingualism.
It is my personal opinion that we need to dramatically overhaul not only our bilingualism requirements but also our second language education.
In New Brunswick, a province where we claim to be officially bilingual, 56.3% of our province (over half) only speak English, 10.2% of our province only speak French and only 1/3 of our province actually are bilingual. By extrapolation from population data it can be seen that our bilingual population is spread between the two linguistic communities like this. Approx. 11 percent of our populations is English first bilingual and 22 percent of our population is French first bilingual.
When you take those figures into account it shows that we have a long way to go before we actually become the bilingual province we claim to be and this is not helped when we fail to provide quality second language education.
The government requires many of our new job postings to be bilingual and this means that 33% of our population is eligible for a government job much of it based largely on their birth. That is unacceptable as it creates division within the communities.
Our province started with a strong anti French bias in our hiring and the process of Official Bilingualism was supposed to end that bias. What it has done instead was create an almost reverse discrimination process where it is far easier to get government work if you are French largely because a more significant portion of the French population is bilingual. This is a failure of our education system that needs to be corrected.
It is my personal belief that we need to work to end the constant conflict between the two linguistic groups in this province, the reality is that because our education department so dramatically fails our students the only recourse is to make sure that we divide our government jobs fairly between the two linguistic groups in a manner that is in line with the regional demographic of the two linguistic groups.
Basically province wide our government jobs should be split proportionally between the two groups and each region the division of labour should mimic the local demographics.
This allows for complete fairness and reduces friction between the communities while at the same time allowing the education department the time they require to get the education portion correct.
The best way to do this is not to automatically fire a bunch of people to make the numbers instantly match the demographics. It is instead to start all new hires as a demographic split (once all laid off employees are back in their jobs)
We need to work to create a fair and equal province and we will not do it by constantly pitting one group against another.
We make requirements for government jobs that people need to be bilingual but at the same time we