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September 24th 2007

Government announces official languages amendment to New Brunswick's RCMP agreement

(Source: Province of New Brunswick, CNB)

New Brunswick's agreement with the RCMP will be amended to include the province's Official Languages Act. Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John Foran, and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Hédard Albert, made the announcement at the New Brunswick Acadian Society's annual general meeting on Saturday, Sept. 22, in Miramichi.

Federal public safety officials have agreed to meet with their New Brunswick partners in October to discuss amendments to the RCMP agreement that are unique to New Brunswick. The meeting will continue the province's commitment to official languages in policing services.

"We are committed to respecting the language rights of all New Brunswickers," Foran said. "I am pleased that we are moving forward with contract changes that will reflect that responsibility of bilingual delivery. While I have the personal assurance of the commanding officer of J Division that the RCMP will continue to ensure service in both official languages, I am also pleased to be working toward a contract amendment that will guarantee a long-term commitment to that promise."

This unique arrangement in New Brunswick was supported by other provinces that have individual RCMP contracts.

"I am extremely proud to share this very positive news with you this evening," Albert said. "The province and the RCMP worked in a spirit of collaboration, not confrontation. We agreed that the best way to define the RCMP's obligations in the area of official languages in New Brunswick would be to make direct reference to the province's Official Languages Act in the agreement. This decision speaks volumes about the RCMP's commitment to providing services in both official languages."