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October 27th 2015

The Office of the Commissioner clarifies some points following a News Release by the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick

Fredericton, October 27, 2015 –  The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick provides clarifications following the October 27th news release by the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick on changes to the Official Languages Act (OLA).

Subsection 43(10) of the OLA states that "the Commissioner shall conduct and carry out investigations either pursuant to any complaint made to the Commissioner or on his or her own initiative and shall, as provided in this Act, report and make recommendations with respect to such investigations.”

In accordance with subsection 43(10), last May, the Commissioner launched an investigation pertaining to security services at Chancery Place. Since then, the investigation was expanded to include security services contracted by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure for provincial government buildings.

Given that the investigation is still underway, no report or recommendations have been issued pertaining to this file. Moreover, the Office of the Commissioner is unable to provide further information while the investigation is ongoing.

The Commissioner believes that it is important that independent officers of the Legislative Assembly be able to conduct investigations on their own initiative. This is necessary so that they may fully exercise their oversight role over government activities.

“For many reasons, citizens do not always file a complaint when their language rights are not respected by provincial institutions,’’ stated Katherine d’Entremont. Since 2002, the OLA has allowed us to initiate various important investigations, some of them systemic in nature, and to make recommendations to ensure a better compliance with the Official Languages Act.’’

For more information:
Hugues Beaulieu
Director of Public Affairs and Research
506-444-4229 or 1-888-651-6444
Hugues.Beaulieu@gnb.ca

About the Commissioner of Official Languages
The Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick is an independent officer of the Legislature. Her role is to protect the language rights of the members of the Anglophone and Francophone communities and to promote the advancement of both official languages.