N.B. city reverses Anglo Society flag decision

The city council in Bathurst, N.B., has reversed its decision to allow a New Brunswick anglophone-rights group to fly its flag outside City Hall to mark what it calls "Anglo Day" in September.

The city council in Bathurst, N.B., has reversed its decision to allow a New Brunswick anglophone-rights group to fly its flag outside City Hall to mark what it calls "Anglo Day" in September.

The council issued a brief statement on Monday rescinding permission for the Anglo Society of New Brunswick to place the banner it uses to promote its group in front of City Hall.

The group describes itself as a non-profit organization "dedicated to the promotion and protection of the English language and culture in the province" and is critical of many of the government's bilingualism policies.

The city's statement said that "after many phone calls, emails and street conversations as well as further investigation, council of the City of Bathurst has decided to withdraw its support for the flying of the Anglo Society flag on Sept. 18."

The council voted 4-2 to allow the group to fly its banner outside City Hall a week ago.

The decision sparked immediate concern by the mayor of the nearby community of Petit-Rocher and Michel Carrier, the commissioner of official languages.

Carrier had called on the council to reconsider the decision.

Anne-Marie Gammon, the lone francophone on council, said she had been inundated with emails from people protesting the possibility that the flag would fly in front of City Hall.

Bathurst Mayor Stephen Brunet said last week that the northern New Brunswick city was a multicultural community and that the Anglo Society should be treated as any of the other groups occasionally allowed to fly their flags at City Hall.

The council has a regularly scheduled meeting Monday night.