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Shirley MacLean is New Brunswick's Commissioner of Official Languages. Image: Submitted

N.B. Official Languages Commissioner says opportunity missed

By Tara Clow Dec 12, 2023 | 9:34 AM

New Brunswick’s Official Languages Commissioner says the province has missed an opportunity to make real progress towards equality of the two official language communities.

Shirley MacLean presented her annual report on Monday for 2022/2023.

During that time, there was a great deal of discussion a great deal of discussion on language rights, due to the revision of the Official Languages Act (OLA) and the results of the 2021 Census.

“The province missed an opportunity to make real progress towards the equality of the two official language communities with the revision of the Official Languages Act. Progress was even more crucial at this time, however, since the results of the 2021 Census confirmed some worrying trends for the official linguistic minority, in particular the decline in their demographic weight,” MacLean says.

She states New Brunswick had the same opportunity to enhance and strengthen our Official Languages Act,  but believes we did not take advantage of it.

The Commissioner also said between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023,   160 complaints were received.  97 were admissible, 87 alleged a lack of service in French, and 10 alleged a lack of service in English. In addition, 109 requests for information were submitted This represents an increase of almost 40 requests for information over the previous year.

The full report can be found HERE