Blaine Higgs: Can a leopard change its spots?

Canadian or French, what are we going to be? Or “Canadians or French, who will we be?

By André Faust (Nov 21, 2018)

Blain Higgs
Premier Blain Higgs, Photo credit: Charles Leblanc

33 years ago Blaine Higgs while a member of (CoR) Confederation of Regions presented his report to the Advisory Committee on Official Languages of New Brunswick. Blain was less than complimentary to the Francophone population of New Brunswick. 33 years later is patronizing the Francophone population. L’Acadie Nouvelle received a copy of Blaine Higgs handwritten manifesto which was tabled by Official Languages of New Brunswick.

His1985 manifesto titled “Canadian or French, what are we going to be? Or “Canadians or French, who will we be? sounded more like Teddy Roosevelt’s speech on the assimilation of immigrants. If you read Roosevelt’s speech and compare it to the Higgs manifesto you will see some similarities.

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” – Theodore Roosevelt 1907

In his manifesto, Higgs was critical of the Federal Government because they were negotiating a dollar and cent settlement with Japanese Canadians to compensate Canadian residents of Japanese origin who were interned at two main camps, Camp P and Camp X, not only adults but women and children as well. The Canadian government also seized their assets, these civilians were not prisoners of war. (“Thematic Guides – Internment Camps in Canada during the First and Second World Wars – Library and Archives Canada”, 2018)

Canada was in the wrong by interning and taking away assets from Canadian residents who were of Japenese origin and not prisoners of war, yet Blaine Higgs opposed compensating the Japanese for the Canadian wrongdoing.

Throughout his manifesto Blaine Higgs, the theme was English only in New Brunswick even though the Canadian charter of rights explicitly says that New Brunswick is a bilingual province.

It is rare that a person will change their core beliefs and take the opposite position.  One has to question the motive behind Premier Higgs for his change of heart.

Here is Premier Blaine Higgs 1985 Manifesto in its entirety


Canadian or French, what are we going to be? Or “Canadians or French, who will we be?


I am native of a small English speaking village located on the Maine new Brunswick border. In this community, I grew up in constant association with American neighbours. It was through this association that I soon came to realize low supportive and proud these Americans are of their country. In an emergency situation, which is when the real test would come, it is easy to see how forcefully with a people would stand united in defence of their country under one flag, one government and one language. This is further illustrated as American, in general, continue to brag about their country and openly state that quotation nothing is as good as the united states quote. Isn’t it wonderful to be so proud of a nation and not ashamed to admit it?

Canada also has this same potential, but we must return to a rational system and get away from the unrealistic fantasies of linguistic rates in all sectors. I challenge each and every citizen in this country to consider their loyalty to Canada as a nation as being first and foremost in their personal gold. We are not and will never achieve such loyalty and unity while at the same time embarking on a course supporting two different cultures.

In our military forces, alone, we have an English and a French division. In the event of a conflict which we must stand together, we could not even communicate amongst the very power which was to defend our country. Even if all the troops were bilingual we would no doubt stand at the front and argue which language the orders were to be given then while the enemy walks over us.

We have, as was recently stated, some 80 different cultures in this fine country. Imagine the chaos if each one of them demanded services in their native tongue and of course, the government in there current accommodating fashion would endeavour to provide it. This May seem, at first glance to be ridiculous to even suggest but consider the fact the Federal government is currently negotiating monetary settlement with Japanese Canadians to compensate for alleged afflictions occurring some 50 years ago. The decision at that time was made in the interests of national defense and it should not have to be paid for by the Canadian Taxpayers generations later. The Japanese Canadian Lobby groups demand repayment monetarily and s reveal their true allegiance to Canada and that is for personal gain.

Returning, now, closer to the homefront we find the French Canadians in Quebec have now illustrated their true allegiance, to Canada as a nation, by divorcing themselves from the majority of Canadians and to alienate these English speaking Canadians in their own province. There is only one clear goal in this pursuit and that is for “French Power” at any cost.

The rest of Canada sits idly by while the Federal government pours millions of dollars into Quebec and elevates Quebec to a status unequalled by another Canadian province. This is all done in the name of keeping Quebec within confederation. We must not continue to cater to the idealist pursuit which will only divide our country. our path is one of divisiveness among our people and if this continues we would be better served to negotiate separation as an alternative which I personally hope is never required.

As stated Quebec has made their stand and that is to be French and French alone. We must recognize and be impressed by their persistence and dedication to the French cause, not the Canadian cause.

It is now time to get to the real issues in question at this time and that is the issue of bilingualism within this already poorer Canadian province of New Brunswick. At this time we are the sacrificial province for the bilingual issue across Canada, as we are the only bilingual Canadian province. It is for this very reason that we must stand and clearly demonstrate the problems which are being created.

Premier Richard Hatfield upon his initial election to office in the late sixties chose at that time to ignore the vows of the majority. Premier Lous J. Robichaud had put forward the proposal for the Official Languages Act just before he was voted out of office and this should have been indicators enough for Premier Hatfield, upon his victory that the majority of people did not support this act. His subsequent re-elections to office should not be attributed as the people supporting his policies but instead the lack of choice in the eyes of the voters for a government which could truly represent them. I feel the name Hatfield has carried him for many years.

Currently, we still have no such party which will listen to the people and take a stand for them, thus the inevitable formation of an Association dedicated solely for the preservation of the English speaking Canadians. Despite the radical image that has been portrayed by the media and the elements of bigotry that have been thrown at this association it is still well supported throughout the province. With re-organization and a clear development of the Association’s goals, we will see it’s continued rapid growth. This could eventually result in the formation of a political party will truly represent the majority.

The Poirier Bastarache Report clearly does not reflect a representative sample of the people of New Brunswick of the people of New Brunswick. It instead reflects the deeply biased viewpoint of the three French authors and the one English author, thrown is as a token gesture, who really is not part of the issue as he is an out of province resident. Many English speaking moderates feel there must be just caused to all of these demands, based on linguistic rights. because of the amount of noise that is being generated. I would like to emphasize, However, that many of these so-called spokesmen for the French minority are on a payroll of some sort to fight for this cause. In many cases, this is a government payroll which means the Canadian Taxpayers is supporting financially those activists who peruse the breakdown of our national unity. In support of this argument,, consider the thousands of dollars that have been spent by the government to finance this report. I was told at the first round of those sessions, by Bernard Poirier, one of the authors, that the cost of publishing of the reports was free of charge. Can you possibly imagine who would be too kind as to published an unlimited supply of these reports absolutely free? The whole issue reeks of below board tactics.

Another issue worthy of note, by those moderate overtaken by compassion for the cause, was on the Federal front. This was regarding the formation of the Canadian Parents for French organization. This was not started and funded by the concerned French Parents as one might tend to believe but organized and funded by the Federal government. Additionally, the Federal government provided assistance for different groups to take the Provincial government to court to face the provision of French education. Is this what unity is all about, the Federal government versus the provinces?

I dismiss the Poirier Bastarache repost as being biassed, unnecessary and not promoting the real needs of the New Brunswick People. I cannot support arguments that New Brunswick residents are suffering because they cannot get service in their mother tongue. The point is the service is being provided. According to the report, only 16% of the New Brunswick population are unilingual French. This would indicate that 84% or approximately 195,000 Francophones in this province can speak English. The existing government policies appear to support the idea that even though a person speaks fluent English they have a right to refuse services in that language. When are we going to grow up and start acting like responsible citizens in the real world?

For the 16% or 37,000 unilingual Francophones in this province, we should develop an English Immersion Program instead of the current French Immersion Program for the estimated 66% or 350,000 unilingual Anglophones. The Anglophone population Have a long-standing history of being compassionate and tolerant of the needs of others especially when these needs are justified. However, in this situation, I feel the breaking point is fast approaching.

Let us now truly examine the cultural motivation of the Acadians. As stated in the report they have a higher rate of unemployment and an average lower income than do Anglophones in the other parts of the province. If I had chosen to stay in my native village I would no doubt have had a much lower income as I would have been unemployed. I instead chose to move to where the work was. I did not feel slighted nor did I feel the government should have provided employment in my hometown. In the case of the northern part of the province, we are dealing with a greater number of people whose jobless rate is abnormally high and the government should show additional interest to stimulate the economy of this region. The private sector must be encouraged to invest in this area. It does not seem likely if industrial entrepreneurs are plagued with language restrictions they will be here to invest. It must be emphasized that the greater number of investors comes from the English speaking sector whether it is foreign or otherwise. The province can not and will not ever function effectively by the legislation of additional burdens on the investment groups.

The money spent by the government to teach everyone French and to duplicate all governmental services could be better be utilized to create jobs and improve the standard of living for the average New Brunswicker especially in the northern part of the province. The formation of a French dual government system as proposed will satisfy only those activists in pursuit of a personal power struggle. Democratically the northern part of the province can elect whomever they choose to represent them and I do not feel the Anglophone portion of the Government will oppose improvements to their economic situation. I do not feel that supply the entire north shore with government jobs is the answer to the economic woes of the region.

I would like to emphasize that I am not supporting bigotry but reality and I am sure that many of the moderates both Anglophone and Francophone will agree.

1) The Poirier Bastarache Report entitled “Towards Equality of Official Languages in New Brunswick” be dismissed in its entirety as being unnecessary and impractical.

2) The government of New Brunswick confront the people of Ne Brunswick with a referendum asking; Should New Brunswick have only one official language and should that language be English? Yes or No. Accompanying information should include the actual costs of the current and proposed duplication.

3) The educational system return to the previously higher standard than now currently being offered.

In place of the French Immersion Programs a qualified level of teaching the French language to be offere3d to all New Brunswick students equally as part of the regular school curriculum.

4) The government stress through the future policies the concept that cultures are a personal issue and in this land can be practiced as a personal basis. From this point on the government will support only once culture and that is Canadian and only the language of the vast majority and that is English.

5) A qualified educational program is set up to teach those unilingual Francophones the English language so they will be able to communicate effectively with government agencies. This does not restrict the use of their mother tongue for any other activity.

6) I urge all New Brunswickers to examine the issues at hand. Look closely at the real driving force behind the French cause and the source of the funds which support it. I do not wish to hold any prejudices toward the Francophones but I Feel our current course is one of division and conflictions. I wish only to return to the system where qualification and ability takes precedence over the language or speaks contrary to the report I do not feel that all Francophones suffer from an identity crisis. I work every day with Francophones who are well qualified and every bit as capable as any Anglophones. They do not need to rely on being hired for a job because they are French but because they are capable individuals and that is the way it should be.

Thank-you
Blaine M. Higgs


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Free daycare for low-income families

SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial government has announced that families with an annual gross income under $37,500 will have access to free child care.

“Ensuring that all New Brunswick families are moving forward together is a priority for your government,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Access to free child care for lower-income families will ensure parents are given every opportunity to enter the workforce or pursue their studies, while having the peace of mind that their children are being cared for in high-quality Early Learning Centres across the province.”

The free daycare program is for parents who are either working or attending school, with children aged five and under attending a designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centre.

“Investing in early childhood education is a key component of your government’s multi-year economic growth plan,” said Gallant. “Free child care for families that need the most support will help these families with the cost of child care, will help the children with their education, and will provide a boost to New Brunswick’s workforce so our economy can continue to grow.”

The program is available to eligible families regardless of the centre’s location or the fee charged by its operator. The first designated anglophone and francophone centres will be located in Saint John and the Greater Edmundston area beginning in March. They will be implemented provincewide by March 1, 2019.

“Your government is focused on a holistic approach to supporting New Brunswick families,” said Gallant. “Before this investment, if a single mother of a young child wished to further her studies at university, she would just not be able to afford both tuition and child care. Now, your government has offered her the opportunity to access both free tuition and free child care while she studies. Cases like these will result in healthier families and a stronger workforce here in New Brunswick.”‎

Parents will be notified by their daycares once they are designated and can begin the process.

“This announcement has the ability to dramatically reduce generational poverty in New Brunswick,” said Donna Gates, executive director of Living SJ. “Giving parents options to help break the cycle of poverty is key, and the opportunity to access free child care will make a big difference to many families.”

“Today’s announcement will not only change the lives of many New Brunswick families, but will also support economic growth in our province by allowing parents to return to the workforce or enroll in post-secondary education to increase their employment potential,” said Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce chair Claire Ryan. “Having more people working, and strengthening the workforce will help our province reach its economic potential.”

This daycare program is another way the government is helping working parents and parents attending university or college with child care costs.

Existing programs to help students continue their education include the Free Tuition Program and Tuition Relief for the Middle Class. These offer non-repayable provincial bursaries to make post-secondary education more accessible.

“It is encouraging that increasing access to post-secondary education is a key concern for the provincial government,” said University of New Brunswick president Eddy Campbell. “Any program that will help remove barriers to education and help families is crucial. We know that a well-educated population is the best way to set up our province and our students for economic success.”

Today’s announcement is part of a larger framework of child care investments and early learning initiatives related to:

Quality

  • Daycares in New Brunswick will be able to apply for a One-Time Quality Improvement Grant to increase the quality of both indoor and outdoor learning environments, including equipment and materials, for children aged five and under. The one-time grants will total $4.7 million over the next two years.
  • $7.5 million in annual Quality Grants will be provided to help the facilities deliver high-quality child care services and meet the criteria of becoming a designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centre. The funding equates to a daily funding enhancement of $2.50 per space per day for children aged two to five years old. All early learning centre operators will be required to develop a plan for continuous quality improvement.
  • New Brunswick Early Learning Centres will offer services to preschool children aged five and under through a voluntary application process. Daycares are not required to be part of this program. Those that choose to do so will work in collaboration with the government with the aim of offering equitable and affordable access to high-quality early learning and child care services by removing barriers linked to family income, children’s abilities and needs, language and minority settings.
  • The government is investing $28 million, in addition to the multi-year bilateral funding, to support wage increases for early childhood educators. The funding will be rolled out over four years beginning in 2019-20 and raise wages from $16 an hour to $19 an hour for trained early childhood educators by 2022-23.

Accessibility

  • A new child care registry will serve as a one-stop shop for families to register their children for available child care spaces and have access to apply for subsidies online. Families will also be able to determine immediately whether spaces are available in a facility or if there is a wait list.
  • An Infant Operator Grant will be available to offset operational costs of infant care. It will provide $10 per occupied infant space per day.
  • Transforming as many child care facilities as possible, with an aim of designating more than 300 as New Brunswick Early Learning Centres by 2020 to offer more affordable, accessible, inclusive and high-quality early learning and child care services.
  • Early Learning Centres will also receive support to help increase the number of infant spaces across the province by 200 by the year 2020.
  • Since October 2014 the provincial government has created nearly 3,000 new spaces and plans to expand the total number of spaces in New Brunswick to 30,000 by 2020.

Affordability

  • In addition to today’s announcement, the government is committed to investing in access to affordability for even more New Brunswickers.
  • Additional financial support measures for preschool-aged children five and under will be unveiled in the near future.

Today’s announcement is part of a federal-provincial, three-year early learning and child care agreement that commits $71 million in investments to improve early learning and child care for preschool-aged children in the province. More details on the government’s plan to invest and transform the child care and early learning system are available in its Early Learning and Child Care Action Plan, Everyone at their best… from the start: Early Learning and Child Care Action Plan.


 

The letter that IRVING does not want you to know about

By André Faust

IRVING HAS GOVERNMENT BY THE BALLS

The Irving Oligarchy has been thoroughly researched almost to the point of ad nausea. Recently in award-winning journalism story in the national post, the House of Irving by Bruce Livesey and in a book Irving vs Irving Jacques Poitras, both Livsey and Poitras argues that’s Irving more or less bullies the Government of the day to comply to his demands.

According to CBC Irving pressured the then Progressive Conservative government under the leadership of David Alward to do something about Natural Resource Minister. Subsequent to a letter authored by Irving if premier doesn’t do something about the Natural Resource Minister, then they may have to downsize some of the lumber facilities and cease all expansion. Following this letter, Bruce Northrup was transferred from the position of Minister of Natural resources to the Department of Public Safety In an interview with the CBC he is of the opinion that it was because of Irving’s influence that he was removed from the position of Minister of Natural resources.

Northrup was critical of the forestry deal that Irving wanted, eventually, Irving was able to get the government to allow him a greater percentage of the crown land.

The following is a letter that was originally published in Halifax Media Co-op (2014), and re-published on January 8, 2018, in a CBC story “Natural resources minister in Alward government says Irving letter got him fired”


Irving Letter Feb 27, 2013


The board of Stop Spraying New Brunswick believes a complaint lodged with the CBC Ombudsman is little more than abuse of process in order to stifle legitimate criticism against the use of glyphosate.

yuck1

Fredericton, NEW BRUNSWICK. On Monday, SSNB was made aware of a complaint filed with the ombudsman following CBC coverage of presentations by renowned expert Dr. Thierry Vrain.

Vrain provided SSNB with an email from CBC’s Darrow MacIntyre, in which MacIntyre points to complaints made in wake of CBC’s coverage of Vrain (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/glyphosate- thierry-vrain-1.4388887) and challenges the scientist to defend some of his claims.

Vrain directed MacIntyre to several published news articles, peer-reviewed journals and court documents – of which there are man – to support his claims. Vrain said he is used to such opposition. “I am well aware that the information I convey goes against big money interests so I definitely expect a push back. I have had quite a few opponents and complainants in attendance at my lectures … so I am not too surprised.”

Vrain is just one of many scientists facing challenges for making demonstrable, fact-based claims about the dangers of glyphosate. Rod Cumberland, an outspoken critic of the use of the herbicide as part of the province’s standard forestry practice, has also come under heavy criticism from industry – J. D. Irving in particular – for his views that glyphosate use is directly linked to the
province’s plunging deer populations.

SSNB director Vern Faulkner, a veteran journalist, called the invesigation “highly irregular”. “A media ombudsman generally exists to rule on matters of ethical principle, not on questions of accuracy,” said Faulkner. “The accuracy of Vrain’s claims cannot be disputed, and it is unbelievable that any ethical or moral boundary was challenged by CBC’s coverage of a public presentation by an expert of impeccable credentials.”

The board members of Stop Spraying New Brunswick can only conclude that a third party is abusing the office of the ombudsman in an attempt to stifle legitimate conversation, and expresses its alarm at such action.

Asks Faulkner, “Should SSNB now demand the CBC Ombudsman investigate the repeated and fallacious claims of glyphosate safety made by government and industry?”

SSNB repeats its call for government to heed the weight of both scientific
evidence and public opinion – as evidenced by the 35,000 signatures on SSNB
petitions – and end the government-funded use of glyphosate on Crown forests.
For more, see www.stopsprayingnb.ca.

The ATCON Story: Reviving the Dead Horse

By André Faust

The ATCON story, Whoopee shit, there isn’t anything new here so why all the fuss, ah right! the upcoming election, let’s try to revive a dead horse to win the election. Bottom line since the ATCON fiasco of 2009 there has been one change of government who as well as the former government didn’t take any action, then back to the current government. Nothing has changed the money is still gone. The only winners are the banks who were able to recoup 80%+, New Brunswick was only able to get back a miserly pittance of 4%.

The ATCON story is not new, it is a common practice of Corporations to extort money from the government by using the threat loss of jobs, or the promise of job creation or both, but in the end, they never deliver.

Like others, Atcon understood the province desperation to keep and create new Jobs. They looked at the economically depressed Miramachi and promised that if the government would provide them with the money they would create new jobs and save the existing jobs. The old “Streets are paved in gold” sales pitch. In reality what they actually mean is “Streets paved in charcoal”.

The government of the day took the chance, even though, in the past, these corporations never followed through with job creation and in some cases actually closed their operation after getting the money, but the government took the gamble and lost (again)

Had ATCON been successful, the payoff politically for the government would have been great, but like rest of the Corporate extortionist ATCON took the money and ran. The consequence was the liberal government was replaced with the conservative government, but that still didn’t change the outcome, the money is gone end of story.

In a report presented by Canada’s conservative think tank the Frazer institute the reported that Over a period of nearly 20-years, federal, provincial and local authorities together spent almost $684-billion on subsidies, mainly to private corporations — and the impact on consumers was marginal at best. When you calculate in the tax loopholes and breaks that figure is tremendously higher than stated.