New Brunswick

Bilingual schools buses raises constitutional questions: expert

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy raised the idea of sending anglophone and francophone students to New Brunswick schools on the same buses earlier this week.

Dominic Cardy open to sending anglophone and francophone students on same bus

Dominic Cardy contends bilingual buses would not violate the fundamental rights of the minority French-speaking community.

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy raised the idea of sending anglophone and francophone students to New Brunswick schools on the same buses earlier this week. 

Discussions of language rights in New Brunswick inevitably turn to the constitution, which outlines what governments must provide to citizens in terms of language services. 

The CBC's Information Morning spoke to Professor Robert Talbot of the University of Ottawa. The history professor studies French-English relations in Canada.

He said the constitution declares French and English the official languages of Canada. 

"The constitution protects the language rights of official language minorities in terms of education," he said. "If you're an anglophone in Quebec, you have the right to go to school in English and if you're a francophone in Saskatchewan, you have the right to go to school in French if your parents are francophone."

But he said those laws are unclear on the level of school buses. The final say on such questions goes the Supreme Court of Canada. 

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