FREDERICTON (NB) – March 15, 2004: The Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick takes advantage of this day of opening ceremonies for La semaine de la fierté française (French Pride Week) at the Centre La fontaine School in Neguac to congratulate the Department of Education for this excellent initiative promoting the French language among the province's French speaking students.
The theme of this year's French Pride Week is En français je suis né, en français je vivrai (I was born in French, in French I will live). "This theme serves to raise the awareness of children to their heritage and to the importance of strengthening and preserving their culture, without the exclusion of other cultures but with their inclusion for the enrichment of us all." said Michel Carrier.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the French linguistic community of New Brunswick must adopt strategies to enhance its fulfillment and vitality on all levels, particularly in the area of education. In spite of the fact that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Official Languages Act stipulate that both the English and French linguistic communities have equal status, rights and privileges, it is necessary in a minority setting, to have in place special measures to ensure this equality and its affirmation.
The French Pride Week is educational in nature being under the sponsorship of the Department of Education and its partners in the area of education. We must be proud of this excellent initiative whose object is the promotion of French through the arts. This program encourages professional artists, through a competition, to create a work of art depicting the theme of the year and it provides opportunities for students in the school system, to create in French in the various disciplines of drawing, writing and the production of short video productions."
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this worthwhile promotion of the French language and culture falls squarely within the obligations that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Official Languages Act impose on the government of New Brunswick, that is: to advance the status, rights and privileges of both linguistic communities in the province.
"I take this opportunity, on this first day of the fifteenth edition of La semaine de la fierté française, to congratulate Madeleine Dubé, Minister of Education and her staff for a job well done. There is no doubt that such an initiative will have beneficial repercussions for us all."
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.