Gallant proposes French immersion to start in Grade 1
Liberal Leader Brian Gallant's proposal was seen as hypocrisy by Progressive Conservative MLAs
Liberal Leader Brian Gallant promised to restore the entry point of French immersion to Grade 1 or even kindergarten to the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
"What does their minister of education believe? That French immersion should start in Grade 3 or Grade 1 Mr. Speaker?" said Gallant.
The promise resulted in Progressive Conservative MLAs calling him out for hypocrisy saying it was the Liberal Party that abolished early entry in the first place.
In 2008, then Education minister Kelly Lamrock said French immersion was segregating the school system with high achievers in French.
“Most of those kids were streamed into classrooms where they couldn't learn to read, write or do math and as a result we were last in literacy and numeracy,” said Lamrock in 2008.
Lamrock endorsed a Grade 6 entry instead.
When parents protested and took the issue to court, the government was forced to compromise with a Grade 3 start.
In the assembly Thursday, Conservative MLAs wouldn’t let Gallant forget that history.
Meanwhile, the Alward Conservatives have not acted on their own commissioned report which recommended: "the entry point for Early French Immersion be Grade 1."
“We welcome that with open arms. We would be very happy if the Grade 1 entry would be brought back,” said Bob Bernier, a board member of Canadian Parents for French in New Brunswick.
CBC News reached out to the superintendent of the Anglophone South School district to talk about the logistics of another reversal but was referred back to the government.