Green party response on the question of a French language leaders’ debate

David Coon
Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick
403, Regent Street, Suite 102
Fredericton, NB, E3B 3X6

24 August 2018

Subject: Green party response on the question of a French language leaders’ debate

It is with disappointment that I learned yesterday that Radio Canada Acadie will ultimately not hold a leaders’ debate in French due to a conflict between Mr. Higgs of the Progressive Conservative party and Mr. Gallant of the Liberal party.

This conflict over the format of the televised French debate – an essential media event in any election campaign – unfairly deprives a third of the population of New Brunswick of an essential source of political information, essential to our democratic process.

Even as we, in New Brunswick, are on the eve of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, passed in 1969 by Louis J. Robichaud, we cannot forget article 16.1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We therefore recognise the equality of status, rights, and privileges for both the French and English linguistic communities of New Brunswick.

Respect for and protection of New Brunswick’s two Official Languages and its French and English linguistic communities is a defining characteristic of New Brunswick. Without a French debate it is the Acadian and francophone communities with their own issues that are being ignored.

The Green party of New Brunswick is ready to work with the other parties for the well-being of all communities in our province. We are dedicated to respect for and the protection of our two official languages.

We hope all the parties and their leaders overcome this partisanship and demonstrate respect for real equality between the two linguistic communities.

I am hoping for a solution to this problem and an invitation to a leader’s debate in French.

David Coon
Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswcick

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