On March 19, 2007, the Campbellton Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a special evening event giving local business people the opportunity to talk about bilingualism.
Sponsored by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, the evening, whose theme was “Le bilinguisme: J’en fais mon affaire” [Bilingualism Is Good Business], drew more than 30 people from the business world to the Best Western Manoir Adelaide in Dalhousie.
The purpose of this informal gathering was to determine if there was any interest among Chaleur area business people in undertaking a project aimed at promoting the merits of serving their customers in both official languages.
“Although the private sector is not subject to New Brunswick’s Official Languages Act, I am convinced that the business world can play an important role in the advancement of our two official languages by boosting bilingualism,” said Commissioner Michel Carrier, adding that the success of such a project depends entirely on the local business people’s willingness to take it on. “I think this type of project has to be initiated by and for business people if it is to succeed.”
The guests listened with great interest to a presentation by Avantage Saint John Advantage, a community development organization supporting bilingualism in the port city.
Those attending this special event were enthused and motivated by the presentations and, above all, by the discussions dealing with both the practical and the philosophical aspects of serving their customers and doing business in both official languages.
The Commissioner plans to organize several more meetings of this type in an effort to inspire a provincial movement of business people committed to doing business in both official languages.