Kris Austin says withdrawal of dual busing question positive, but leaves taxpayers on the hook yet again

Dualism

The leader of the People’s Alliance is pleased the Liberal government has abandoned its Court of Appeal case to segregate children on school buses based on which language they speak.

The government had sent the question of dual busing to the Appeals Court after it discovered an English school and a French school in Kent county were transporting kids together up until 2015. Then Education Minister Serge Rousselle put a stop to the practice and ordered extra buses for the area. Today however, the government decided, rather than continue the challenge, to allow local DEC s the ability to share school busing services if they should choose. DEC s are made up of representatives and parents.

Under section 23 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms it gives minority groups the right to govern their own schools, and subsections of the constitution guarantee education to be controlled individually by each official language group.

“I respect the right of teaching our children in their mother tongue, french or english here in the province” says Kris Austin, “ We are all equal partners, with common goals to make New Brunswick the best possible place to raise our families.”

Austin is critical of how the government handled the situation, which he called a lack of leadership from within the ranks.

“After spending thousands in tax dollars to file application, months tying up the court, and wasting the resources of various organizations, the government has decided to abandon the dual bus question,” says Austin, “Premier Gallant could have saved a lot of time and money by doing what many parents were asking and allowing educational districts to decide for themselves the best way to transport students to school, without ever involving the court. It shows a clear lack of leadership by the Premier which is unfortunate for taxpayers.”


 

The People’s Alliance Calls on Gallant Government to Halt Changes to French Immersion

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Kris Austin, leader of the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick

The Gallant government, in its first days of this sitting of the Legislature, once again reiterated its plans to reintroduce French Immersion into Grade one. This is being done against strong advice from the New Brunswick Teacher’s Association, from Dr. Miller at St. Thomas University, and from other experts in the field who have pointed out that the negatives for early immersion far outweigh any positives this program might achieve.

“Gallant’s motives have nothing to do with educational objectives; this is all about politics,” says Kris Austin, leader of the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick. “With our literacy rates in both official languages at levels so low that it’s mind-boggling, if Gallant were interested in the educational objectives, he would pay attention to what the educators and experts are saying. And what they are saying is that the immersion point should not be moved to grade one.” Austin also points out that this re-introduction goes completely against the recent educational roadmap which promised that education would be left to the educators.

Austin notes that there is far more common ground between the English and French-speaking communities of New Brunswick than the divisive policies of successive PC and Liberal governments suggest, and one area of that common ground is literacy. “We all want our children to become literate in their mother tongue first, not only as the means of preserving their own language, but to ensure they can communicate successfully and with confidence in that language.”

“Communicating successfully in one’s language doesn’t just mean speaking the language and having a good vocabulary. Successful communication skills include reading and writing…or, in other words, literacy. We are failing our children and our families in achieving this literacy, and neither our English nor our French parents are satisfied with these results,” continued Austin.

Also absent from the announcement was any mention of how many English-speaking elementary school teachers have to be displaced, and new French Immersion teachers hired, to implement this program. “Teacher displacement could be as high as one hundred,” says Austin. “To follow through, French Immersion will have to be offered in grade two as these students move along, which means more teacher displacement until eventually the Immersion program hits grade three, where it begins now.”

H­­e also noted that, since French immersion at any grade level is still not available to every student in the province, further changes to the entry grade are pointless until that disparity can be corrected.

“A People’s Alliance government would leave these decisions in the hands of the educators and experts, unlike successive PC and Liberal regimes,” says Austin. “They have spoken, repeatedly and emphatically. The entry point shouldn’t be changed, and the politics have to be taken out of the program.”


Benefits of bilingualism

Update – Video of NB Premier Brian Gallant on the benefits of bilingualism – Sept 27, 2016

Brian-Gallant
Premier Brian Gallant

Premier Brian Gallant will discuss the benefits of bilingualism and how to work together to make it work in a speech to the Saint John Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Sept. 26, and to the Caraquet Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

 

Bilingualism and our diversity are benefits to our economy and social fabric. But it takes work, co-operation, and frank discussions to make it work. We have to continue to work together to figure out the best way to get things done to ensure that we provide the best quality of life for all New Brunswickers whether they are anglophones, francophones, First Nation, or a new Canadian.

Having a workforce that features two languages increases the potential for trade since the ability to offer sales and support personnel with at least two languages helps develop markets in Canada and around the world.

In addition to meeting with the chambers of commerce, Premier Gallant will also participate in several bilingualism-related announcements.

As a government, we need to do a better job of promoting the benefits to our province of bilingualism and diversity. We also need to debunk some of the myths surrounding bilingualism as well as provide more opportunity for New Brunswickers to learn a second language.

Portions of the premier’s speech will be available on Facebook Live around noon on Sept. 26 and 28.


 

People’s Alliance Motions The Court Of Appeal For Intervenor Status Regarding Dual Busing Question

Dualism

The People’s Alliance has filed a motion with the Court of Appeal yesterday (May 31st, 2016) to be an intervenor in the reference question relating to duality of school bus transportation.

Party leader Kris Austin stated,

“With the Attorney General refusing the admonishment of Chief Justice Drapeau to argue both sides and instead using tax dollars to only present one side of the coin, we felt even more compelled to proceed with an application for intervenor.”

The next court date is scheduled for June 15th at 10am in which motions will be heard and procedures outlined.


Katherine d’Entremont Demon Villain or Victim of Circumstances

By André Faust

Why has Katherine d’Entremont become one New Brunswick most despised person, Granted she set herself up when she laid a complaint to herself against long time employee Wayne Grant because he couldn’t speak French, No matter how you cut it that one was un faux pas.

Why bilingualism has become a problem has more to do with New Brunswick economics then d’Entremont, more precisely the problem of bilingualism due to the scarcity of employment in the province, not all New Brunswickers are technological geeks and cannot take advantage of the emerging technological industries when you start make decisions that negatively effects ones livelihood you’re going to have problems.

By virtue of trying to uphold the Official Languages of Canada as set forth in The Constitution Act of 1982 section 16 through to section 22 in an  impoverished Province  with an unemployment rate of 10.2%. Which is based on those who are drawing unemployment Insurance the figure doesn’t include students, and those who have given up looking for work, the real figure is much greater if the employment rate was much lower bilingualism would not be as big of an issue as it is.
The perception that the English community is having, is that economic advantages are being giving to the French members of the community.

Common sense observation seems to reinforce that perception, when you walk into a government office, two things are immediately obvious, one is the French accent the other French is spoken first. If equality existed you would expect to see as many government employees who native tongue is English and French is the second language as you see government employees whose native tongue is French and English is the second language.

Then comes the question of proficiency, it appears that an Anglophone has to be more than proficient in French while the Francophone only needs to be at max functionally proficient in English to qualify for or maintain employment with the government.

What adds salt to the injury is when people are being fired because they are not bilingual which on the surface seems to be only the unilingual English speakers that are being sacked from their jobs because they can’t communicate in French. There are no known reported cases where a French unilingual person is dismissed from their jobs because they can’t speak English.
Ideally speaking,  the province should make funds available to allow New Brunswickers whether English or French to take courses to be functionally bilingual, those who are currently employed with government should receive the financial support so they can take courses to become bilingual,  canning them from their jobs is not the solution!  At present there is no financial incentives for unilingual persons to study language that they are weak in or have no knowledge of the language.

Obviously the province can’t afford to invest in its citizens to become bilingual the money would have to come from the Federal government to make that a reality.  By the fact that New Brunswick specifically is included in the constitution makes it a distinctive province like Quebec and it needs to be treated as such from the Federal Government.  The Federal Government needs to kick in a half a billion dollars over the course of “X” number of years to allow New Brunswick to fully comply with the constitution without creating a division between the two linguistic groups.