New Brunswick is a bilingual province; in fact, we are the only officially bilingual province in Canada. We have been so for fifty years. The majority of our population is English speaking. About 32% is French. The majority of those who are French speaking live in the north of the province. Only about 2% of our province identifies as First Nations.
Recently, we had a provincial election. Leading up to it, bilingualism and the duality of government programs, once again, became hot topics. Each political party offered its views. Many individuals did so as well. Based on the election results, it is obvious that this issue remains an important and divisive one for our province. The north voted primarily Liberal. The south of the province voted overwhelmingly Conservative.
I have a solution to the problem.
Let’s agree to put the names of our two principal founding languages in a hat. We pick one. That language, and that language alone, will become the official language of the province. Of course, we would need to identify a time period during which all New Brunswickers could learn that language. But that’s just scheduling.
So, whether it is Mi’kmaq or Wolastoqiyik, we will have one official language
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