CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: New Brunswick's Program of Equal Opportunity

History, Business Studies
2 lessons
To examine the impact of the Program of Equal Opportunity on the economy, history, and development of New Brunswick; to examine the effectiveness of the Program of Equal Opportunity as a response to the Byrne Report
Students will explore and write a position paper about New Brunswick’s Program of Equal Opportunity as a response to the Byrne Report.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Divide the class into two groups. One group should view the clips "Louis Robichaud: man of destiny", "Acadians: The 'other revolution'", and "'We must move! We must act!'" on the topic The 'Other Revolution': Louis Robichaud's New Brunswick on the CBC Digital Archives website.


The other group should view the clips "Louis Robichaud: man of destiny", "'Robbing Peter to pay Pierre'", and "Becoming bilingual". 

Students should also review the Did You Know? sections for additional information on the Program of Equal Opportunity. Throughout their browsing of the site, students should make a list of the suggestions made by the Byrne Report to restructure government services.

Outline the Opportunity


Working in pairs, students will view the clips "Nova Scotia's isolated French" and "1969: Acadians head south to help Cajun cousins", including the Did You Know? section. Lead a class discussion about how Premier Robichaud, the "man on a mission," brought New Brunswick kicking and screaming into the twentieth century. Students should consider the specific use of the metaphor "kicking and screaming" and how it is used to describe the process of economic development and the politics of the time.

After carefully considering the contributions of Robichaud and his government's reforms through the Program of Equal Opportunity, students will reflect on Robichaud's legacy. Students should develop a position paper in the context of one of the following propositions.

The Program of Equal Opportunity served to inflame existing prejudices and bigotry within the Province of New Brunswick.

The Program of Equal Opportunity robbed Peter to pay Pierre.

The Program of Equal Opportunity levelled the playing field so that everybody in the province had equal access to government services and equal opportunities, particularly in education.

The legacy of Robichaud is that he had a positive impact on the lives of New Brunswickers.

Revisit and Reflect

Ask students to share their ideas with the class. Ask: What do you feel is Robichaud's greatest legacy? His greatest weakness? How would you fix that weakness if you were premier?


Students can write a journal entry from the viewpoint of either a French- or English-speaking Acadian during the late 1960s, responding to the "other revolution."

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