New Brunswick

French immersion supporters jeer N.B. education minister

Four tour buses loaded with about 400 angry parents arrived at the New Brunswick legislature Thursday to confront Education Minister Kelly Lamrock over his decision to cut early French immersion.

Four tour buses loaded with about 400 angry parents arrived at the New Brunswick legislature Thursday to confront Education Minister Kelly Lamrock over his decision to cut early French immersion.

They carried signs saying Lamrock should be dumped rather than the program that offers French immersion starting in Grade 1.

Canadian Parents for French has led the charge to get the program reinstated. Demonstrations were held earlier this week in Saint John and Moncton.

An online petition set up on Facebook right after the government announced its intention to axe the program had 3,000 signatures within the first two days.

Parents protesting the cut said it would be a disgrace for New Brunswick — Canada's only officially bilingual province — to scrap a program many believe offers the best opportunity for English-speaking children to learn French.

Lamrock was booed and jeered when he attempted to speak to the protesters.

The government plans to replace early immersion next fall with an intensive French-language course that begins in Grade 5.

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