FREDERICTON, N.B.: – February 19, 2004: The Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, Michel Carrier, takes the opportunity to wish Radio-Canada a Happy 50th Anniversary. On the 20th of February, 1954, the CBC's French network established itself as the first French language radio production centre of Radio-Canada in Atlantic Canada.
For Mr. Carrier, the 20th of February, 1954 represents the beginning of a new visible and permanent affirmation of the French language and culture in New Brunswick. "There is no doubt that the establishment of a permanent regional base for Radio-Canada in Moncton in 1954, contributed greatly to the promotion of the advancement of the French language in the greater Moncton area and later, in the whole of the Atlantic region. From that date on, the French speaking linguistic community has had an effective means for bringing that community together and for the promotion of what it represents."
The Commissioner of Official Languages sees Radio-Canada as a significant social tool for enhancing the French linguistic community's opportunity to see itself reflected in the media and to perceive itself as a vibrant cultural entity with full participation in the building of New Brunswick and Canada. "Radio-Canada is doing its share in the progression toward effective equality and use of the French language as one of the official languages of the only officially bilingual province in the country. It is to the degree to which the French language community perceives itself as being autonomous in its means for development and to which it feels empowered, that it will more easily be able to transact on an equal footing with its English speaking counterpart."
For the Commissioner, it matters that school-aged Francophone children be able to confirm their French heritage in the environment, through such means as radio and television in the French language. The effect of this means of communications, is to support the work done by teachers in the French language school system and of parents in the home setting.
Mr. Carrier considers that Radio-Canada contributes to a bringing together of the province's two linguistic communities, since its services are accessible to those members of the English speaking community who wish to take advantage of French radio and television stations in a minority setting. By this means, they can enrich their knowledge of the French language and benefit from a greater familiarization with the French culture in America. "It is also of great import that young Anglophones who wish to learn French or further their knowledge of French, be able to access quality radio and television programs in French. As learning tools, they can enhance the teaching they get at school in the French language. Radio-Canada is fulfilling its role very well in this area and I am certain it will continue to do so."
For more information, please contact Ronald LeBreton, Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Planning, Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, (506) 444-4758 or 1-888-651-6444.