FREDERICTON- The Acadian Society of New Brunswick released today a scathing open letter to Premier Blaine Higgs, accusing him of abdicating his responsibilities toward official bilingualism.
The letter, addressed to the Conservative Party of New Brunswick, calls on the party to conduct a review of Higgs’s leadership, suggesting the premier has become wildly unpopular in Canada’s only officially bilingual province.
The letter is signed by more than 40 individuals, most of them representatives of francophone organizations, unions, municipalities and one First Nation.
Among other things, the society accuses Higgs of sowing discord between linguistic and cultural communities, portraying himself as a victim of bilingualism and lacking respect for the province’s Acadian and francophone communities, and its Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqey First Nations.
In particular, the letter criticizes the premier’s recent review of New Brunswick’s Official Languages Act and his proposal to introduce a new French immersion program that cuts the time elementary school students spend learning in French.
The premier’s office could not be immediately reached for comment.
“Premier Blaine Higgs’s attempts to disengage himself from his responsibilities regarding matters of official bilingualism are of great concern to us,” the letter says. “Simply put, this divisive strategy is unacceptable coming from the premier of our beautiful province.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2022.