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June 21st 2004

BILINGUALISM AT THE FOREFRONT: THE COMMISSIONER OF OFFICIAL LANGUAGES IS PROUD OF THE PROGRESS ACHIEVED IN THE AREA OF OFFICIAL LANGUAGES

FREDERICTON, N.B. -June 21, 2004: Last Wednesday, at Old Government House, Dialogue New Brunswick awarded its Lieutenant-Governor Prix Dialogue Award. This prestigious award is given annually to persons or organizations that have distinguished themselves for their involvement in the advancement of bilingualism in New Brunswick.

As Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, Mr. Michel Carrier wishes to congratulate Honourable Louis J. Robichaud, former Premier of New Brunswick and Mrs. Lyne Raymond, Vice-President of the 2003 Bathurst-Campbellton Canada Winter Games Host Society. He also wishes to pay tribute to the late Honourable Richard Hatfield, former Premier of New Brunswick, who was awarded the recognition posthumously.

The former Premier of New Brunswick, Louis J. Robichaud, in his acknowledgment remarks, told the group how proud he was of the progress accomplished since 1960, including the progress during the years Richard Hatfield was in power. He believes New Brunswick is an example for the rest of the country in the area of bilingualism.

Mr. Carrier reiterates the comments of Louis J. Robichaud in applauding the progress New Brunswick has achieved in the area of official languages, particularly in bringing together the two official language communities of the Province. For the Commissioner, that progress can be attributed to the vision and determination demonstrated by Louis J. Robichaud and Richard Hatfield. "These two politicians were able to translate their convictions regarding equality and respect into concrete actions that have definitely resulted in the social changes in New Brunswick in the area of official bilingualism and recognition of equality between the English and French linguistic communities. Thanks to their leadership, New Brunswick is effectively an example for the rest of the country."

For the Commissioner of Official Languages, the task accomplished by Louis J. Robichaud and Richard Hatfield and by their respective political parties has created an environment of inclusion and of respect that favours an easy and necessary cooperation between the province's two official linguistic communities. One has but to consider the enormous success of the 2003 Bathurst-Campbellton Canada Winter Games Host Society in bringing to that region bilingual winter games. "I can but recognize and acknowledge, with much admiration and gratitude, the enormous task of coordination, of planning and of motivation that made it possible to organize the 2003 Canada Winter Games where 70% of the events were held in both official languages of the province and of the country. I wish to congratulate Mrs. Lyne Raymond, Vice-President of the Society for making us feel proud during these games."

Mr. Carrier recognizes the excellent work accomplished by Dialogue New Brunswick in promoting bilingualism and bridging the gap between anglophone and francophone citizens of the province. According to him, this unifying organization greatly contributes to quality of life in New Brunswick with its continued and visionary efforts.


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For more information, please contact Ronald LeBreton, Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Planning, Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, (506) 444-4229 or 1-888-651-6444.