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

My understanding has always been that it was against the law, and in violation of the elections act, to deny someone employment or to fire someone or otherwise negatively influence their employment due to political affiliation or political positions.

That is the law.

The fact of the matter is that most people who are involved in politics can tell you that in one form or another everyone involved deals with this on a regular basis.

Companies regularly refuse to hire people because of their political connections, many of them routinely suffer work “slowdowns” because of their political connections and while much of it is behind closed doors and only understood to happen, Some of it is upfront and blatant.

Take for example the case of Daniel Bourgeois who was blocked from at least one job because he was a Councillor in Moncton and was denied a letter of recommendation because of his positions on another issue.

Let’s look at David Alward, he bluntly stated that they would not be hiring contractors who were critical his Conservative government, meaning that all those who were not Pro Alward conservatives would not be eligible for contracts.

Let’s look at the Shawn Graham Liberals who turfed a caucus member for daring to suggest that the public should have a say on a contentious policy.

Again at the Alward Conservatives who turfed a caucus member with extensive years in health care for daring to question the value of a dual health care system

And let’s not forget the Federal NDP who sanctions several caucus members who actually had the gall to actually support the wishes of their constituents by voting in favor of eliminating the federal long gun registry.

Yes it appears at all levels of government. It happens to those who lose their seats in an election, it happens to those at the municipal level who often have to work another job because the compensation is not sufficient on its own. It even happens to those who win elections when their party leader decides that he does not like what was said (or done)

I think it is time that the various Election agencies in Canada start to take a close look at this type of behavior and start to send an extremely strong message that this type of behavior will no longer be tolerated in this country.

A Hand Up Or A Hand Out

There are two sides to this discussion and the results of the discussion are something that I find fascinating.

On one side we have those who feel that it is vital that we give people the tools to get ahead in life.

On the other side we have those who feel it is vital that we make sure people have the necessities of life.

There are valid points to both arguments and there are fallacies in both arguments.

This is not a black and white, all or nothing issue.

We need to make sure people have the necessities of life, while at the same time we work to give them the tools to get ahead in life.

Doing either one without the other will almost always result in failure. The reason being that doing one without the other will almost always leave the job only half done.

We can teach a person all the tools we want to fend for themselves, but if we do not get them enough food, for the night, or a place to sleep, or the mental or financial help they need to sustain themselves until they can get working and making an income, then all the work we do teaching them is wasted.

On the other hand we can give a person all the food, clothes, housing, money and even health care we want, but unless we teach them how to find work (or even train them in a new field if necessary) then we will simply end up having to do this forever.

One of the major failures of all the programs that are out there to help people is that the vast majority of the programs focus only on one aspect of helping a person out. Each program needs to be doing or enabling both aspects of giving a person a hand as without both programs, neither program can work in a vacuum.

Last night we learned that a city Councillor Daniel Bourgeois is stepping down because his outspoken political views on certain things in this city has negatively affected his ability to find outside employment.

I wish I could say I was surprised, or that I could say he was imagining things. Unfortunately I am well familiar with the fact that having a political viewpoint does affect your earning potential. I personally am familiar with over 60,000 in personal salary that I have lost to date due to suffering job cuts due solely to the political party I ran for in an election. I am also fully aware of at least one job opportunity which I was denied solely because of my outspoken positions, during and since the last municipal election.

My father has often quoted that “There is no place in politics for an honest man” and while I totally disagree with him and believe that we need more honest people getting involved in politics, not less, I also understand that it is things like this that make people believe that the honest man is doomed to fail in politics.

The fact of the matter is that the one level of politics that has absolutely no room for a person’s political beliefs affecting their opportunities for employment is Municipal politics. The reason for this is that Municipal politicians are paid so poorly for the work they do, that they need to in most cases have outside employment to be able to continue to serve in their position and politicians (and aspiring politicians) need to be able to speak their mind without fear of loss of income or employment.

All in all this is a sad day for politics in this city, when a man has to step down, Not because he did something wrong, but because in standing up for his beliefs other people have felt that they had the right to punish him for his political position.

The worst part about this is that while denying a person employment, or even penalizing a person at their current position, because of the political position is completely against the law, it is still common practice and very difficult to prove because those involved in this type of behaviour are very careful to always cover their butts and make sure that there is always something else they can point to as the real reason (even when every sane person in the world knows completely different)

We need better protection for all of our politicians when it comes to this type of behaviour and we also need to make sure that the penalties for even the appearance of impropriety in hiring practices regarding this type of action is soundly punished in such a manner as to make sure that it never happens again.

No politician should ever be penalized for speaking his mind, no matter whether that politician is right, wrong or even just holds an opposing view to ours.

Rememberance Day: Lest We Forget