Saint John says no to Anglo Society flag

Saint John city council has turned down the Anglo Society's request to fly its flag outside city hall.

Saint John city council is the latest local government in New Brunswick to turn away the controversial Anglo Society.

Council received and filed the group's request to fly its flag for one day outside Saint John City Hall, but it did not discuss the request, and Mayor Ivan Court made it clear after the meeting that the flag was not welcome.

The anglophone rights group had hoped its flag would be flown on Sept. 18, the date in 1759 that the English defeated the French in battle on the Plains of Abraham and took Quebec.

The same request had originally been accepted by Bathurst, but the city council there reversed its decision after a flood of complaints.

Bilingualism the concern, mayor says

Court said the matter was discussed in a private session of council before the public meeting. Council members were concerned because New Brunswick is a bilingual province and the Anglo Society opposes bilingualism, he said.

The Anglo Society has announced it will carry its flag to some municipalities on Sept. 18 anyway. It also plans to protest in Fredericton during the Acadian national holiday on Aug. 15.

Society member Jim Webb, who attended the meeting, said afterward that he was very upset.

"I'm a Canadian," he said. "I'm an Anglo-Canadian. We go back 300 years as English-speaking people, OK? I just want to be treated equally and we're not treated equally."

Webb said he's considering a lawsuit against cities including Saint John, claiming language discrimination.