Early French immersion advocates want minister to resign
At least two groups of concerned parents are calling for the resignation of New Brunswick Education Minister Kelly Lamrock over the province's decision to eliminate early French immersion in schools.
Moncton lawyer Alison Ménard said Wednesday there are four groups fighting the decision with thousands of members on the social networking site Facebook.
Ménard says this issue touches people deeply, and the government shouldn't expect it to go away.
"This is not an issue that people have talked about for a couple of hours over a coffee at Tim Hortons, and then gone home and forgotten about it. It is still gathering speed and momentum. People are organizing, they are not giving up.
"They will keep at it, it will change their vote," said Ménard, who is also on the board of directors of the New Brunswick branch of Canadian Parents for French.
Ménard said there would be a rally at the legislature in Fredericton late March, and letter-writing campaigns are already underway.
Many people are calling for Lamrock's resignation, Ménard said, and she is looking into the possibility of a legal challenge of the decision.
A grass-roots group of parents in Sackville, N.B., is also calling for Lamrock's resignation.
About 70 people met Tuesday night to discuss ways to persuade him to reverse his decision.
"People just can't believe [his decision]. Many of us have e-mails from the minister in late November promising us, 'You will not see elimination of early French immersion, and we will discuss this once the review is made public'," said meeting organizer Amanda Cockshutt.
If the decision isn't reversed, Cockshutt said, she'll move her three children to the French school district.
Ménard said the education minister made a huge error by following what she said was a seriously flawed report by two people who are not experts in second-language education.
Lamrock had accepted all of the recommendations made in a recent report by commissioners Patricia Lee and James Crowell, whom the province had asked to study the issue.
Croll is a professor emeritus from the University of New Brunswick and Lee has been involved in education provincially and nationally for many years.