People's Alliance questions bilingualism
Kris Austin released party's policy on Official Languages Act reform
The People's Alliance of New Brunswick says its party supports the Official Languages Act but the province's fifth party is questioning the way official bilingualism works.
People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin released his party’s policy on the Official Languages Act to reporters before presenting it to a committee of MLAs studying the language law behind closed doors.
He said New Brunswickers should be able to renew their driver’s licence in English or French.
But he wasn't sure patients dealing with an emergency room triage nurse should have the same right.
Austin also said on Wednesday the province shouldn't have English and French school systems.
But he had no suggestion on how to change the Canadian Constitution, which guarantees that dual school system in the province.
"Well, that's something we'd have look at, and again it comes back to having open and public debate," he said.
Austin also confused the French immersion that exists in English schools with French schools for francophones.
Austin said in July 2010 that bilingualism is an important part of New Brunswick’s culture.
"We're not looking to grab a segment of New Brunswick, we're looking to grab the whole of New Brunswick and the reality is this is a bilingual province and we believe in that," Austin said in 2010.
His presentation also comes after Fundy-River Valley MLA Jim Parrott was ejected from the Progressive Conservative caucus, in part for raising language issues.
The People’s Alliance ran candidates in 14 ridings in the 2010 election but was unable to win a seat.
It received 1.18 per cent of the popular vote in that election.
Austin finished in third spot behind the Liberals in the riding of Grand Lake-Gagetown.
The most recent poll from Corporate Research Associates showed the People's Alliance was stuck with below one per cent voter support.