Saturday, March 29, 2008

EFI a jewel in our just society

This is a letter published in the Telegraph Journal, March 29, 2008.

The debate over the fate of early French immersion is of historical significance. The Graham government is bold to venture into these turbulent waters, but they are sailing without a map and showing stubborn disregard for obvious danger.

Make no mistake. The entire country is watching. We must get this right. When I say "without a map," I am referring to the use of the Croll-Lee Report to make decisions which will deeply affect the lives of thousands of children. In this era of global positioning systems, this is the equivalent of using a sketch on the back of a napkin. The report has been roundly criticized by the majority of scholars who have read it as unscientific at best and misleading at worst. Some map. The stubborn disregard of danger is Minister Lamrock's complete refusal to respect the opinions of a legion of experts on language and education.

Early French immersion is a jewel in the crown of Canada's just society. We can be proud that even in a have-not province, we can offer this gem to our children. I feel deeply for the parents who are watching this great privilege being taken from future generations. Premier Graham, ministers Murphy and Boudreau, I applaud your government's courage for trying to tackle this difficult issue. However, it is not an exaggeration to say that killing early French immersion will be a crime. I pray that you will choose not to go down in history as accomplices in this tragic mistake.


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