New Brunswick

Province puts up $1M to help unemployed adults learn French

The New Brunswick provincial government will spend up to $1 million to provide free access to second-language training for adults who are unemployed.

Money will go to increasing number of courses and giving unemployed adults free access

Premier Brian Gallant announced on Tuesday that his government would invest up to $1 million in helping people learn French. (CBC)

The New Brunswick government is aiming to give more people an opportunity to learn French.

The government will spend up to $1 million to provide free access to second-language training for adults who are unemployed. 

That money will go to adding more courses and making them more affordable. Premier Brian Gallant says the one-year program's cost will depend on how many people use it. 

"This will help raise awareness of the programs that already exist, but even more importantly it's going to allow those without employment in the province right now to be able to upgrade their skills in a second official language for free," said Gallant.

Gallant says the program will be available at any community college in the province.

"We think that it's very beneficial to the work force here in New Brunswick, and we believe that if we can offer this to more people of course they're going to be able to enhance their job opportunities here in New Brunswick," said Gallant.

Though the program is only planned for one year, Gallant isn't ruling out extending the program. He said they are very confident many New Brunswickers are going to use this new program.

Tolerance of bilingualism

The announcement comes after a speech from the premier calling for more tolerance of bilingualism

Gallant gave a speech in Saint John on Monday about why bilingualism is important in the province. Gallant cited his own life experience in dealing with bilingualism.

He included a story of his anglophone mother trying to learn French, but getting pushback from both anglophones and francophones at the fast-food restaurant she manages.

In his speech, he said he agreed that there aren't enough opportunities to learn a second language in New Brunswick, teasing Tuesday's announcement.