On March 20th, We Celebrate Francophonie and the Planet

20 MARCH 2015

(FREDERICTON, N.-B.) March 20th marks the International Day of Francophonie, a day during French Pride Week when we celebrate the French language and the contributions of the Francophone community to New Brunswick. This day reminds us of the beauty of the diversity in New Brunswick.

The International Organization of La Francophonie's theme of the day this year, "I keep the planet in my heart," is a campaign wherein the Secretary General of Francophonie, Michaëlle Jean, launched a consultation for youth on sustainable development, "because ideas, activism and innovation on the challenges of climate change are needed," she said.

Ms. Jean invites young Francophones from 5 continents to participate on social media and encourages them to share innovative solutions as to how vulnerable francophone countries can adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.

As the only Member of the Legislative Assembly who champions sustainability and climate action, the Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South, David Coon, welcomes this campaign with enthusiasm. "It's very important to engage youth in tackling the challenges we face with global warming and sustainable development. I wholeheartedly support the campaign launched by Ms. Jean," says Mr. Coon.

The Green Party Leader says that March 20th is a day for both Francophones and Anglophones to celebrate the progress we have made in New Brunswick to safeguard the French language and ensure the Acadian culture can flourish. However, he points out that there remains much work to do to achieve the same for the Aboriginal peoples of New Brunswick whose languages, he noted, are at grave risk.

"As a New Brunswicker, I am proud of the hard won constitutional protections for the French language and Acadian culture in New Brunswick," says Mr. Coon. "It's part of what defines us as New Brunswickers. I invite all New Brunswickers to join me in celebrating Francophonie," he adds.