New Democrats launch French immersion attack on Liberals
Two-year-old quote in local newspaper dredged up as evidence
Nova Scotia's Liberal Party is dismissing the latest New Democrat charge against them as "baseless," "juvenile" and "misleading" after the NDP issued a news release Tuesday morning insinuating a Liberal government would cut French immersion funding at schools.
The attempt to wound the Liberals appears aimed especially in the New Democrat stronghold of metro Halifax.
The claim is based on a news story from 2½ years ago, quoting Liberal education critic Karen Casey.
On Jan. 20, 2011, she told Metro News that "Kids who are in French immersion, early French immersion, by the time they get to Grade 6 they're fully bilingual.… Is French immersion something that needs to stay on the table from Primary to 12?"
Becky Kent, the New Democrat candidate in Eastern Passage, said that means a cut in French immersion if the Liberals form the provincial government.
"The Liberals are a risky choice for parents who want to ensure their kids get the best start in life by being able to speak both official languages," Kent said in a news release.
The release was issued after Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil unveiled a $2.5-million platform promise to remove interest payments from provincial student loans for post-secondary education.
The Liberals immediately denied the New Democrat's French immersion claim.
"Let me be clear: a Liberal government under my leadership will be investing in education and protecting programs in our public school system, including French Immersion," McNeil said in a statement.