Language training cuts at NBCC Miramichi a step in the wrong direction, Cardy says

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is calling on the provincial government to ensure that second-language training courses continue to be offered at the Miramichi campus of New Brunswick Community College, which recently announced it would be eliminating such courses due to declining enrollment.

“For a bilingual province, providing second-language training is a fundamental responsibility of the government,” Cardy said. “If the government requires that certain positions demand the ability to speak and work in both English and French, it is only reasonable that it provide adequate opportunities for all to learn both official languages.”

Cardy added that providing more opportunities for Anglophone New Brunswickers to learn French would do much to improve the linguistic harmony in the province. “Providing universal access to second-language training would better ensure that Anglophones feel a sense of full participation in our project that is official bilingualism,” Cardy said.

Cardy also pledged that providing universal second-language training would be part of a broader NDP emphasis on lifelong learning and skills training. “Language is simply one of many workplace skills that people ought to be given the opportunity to access without undue financial burden,” Cardy said.

“The NDP views language as an essential skill that improves one’s employment opportunities and our larger attractiveness as a province for businesses investment,” Cardy said. “Rather than throwing money at corporate handouts and arenas, spending the modest amounts needed to provide these opportunities to New Brunswickers ought to be a primary function of our government.”