Saturday, March 22, 2008

Language Diversity

Letter from Andrea Wilson:

I wish to express my intense opposition to Minister Kelly Lamrock's recent decision to abolish our province's Early French Immersion program. I do not question his well-meant intentions, however I cannot condone his decision. I am convinced that he has not extrapolated nor fully understood the implications of this decision.

Displaying considerable restraint, I will limit my focus to the one issue which causes me the most angst.

Exposure to language diversity plays a vital role in promoting racial tolerance and a harmonious embracing of cultural diversity. Early introduction to multiculturalism not only fosters the acceptance of racial, linguistic and cultural differences, but ideally, these differences are no longer perceived as threatening but conversely, as enriching. Given the reality of our increasingly blended cultural communities, it would seem in all our best interests to promote harmony and understanding.

Kelly Lamrock has reintroduced a truly devisive issue into our province. Whereas the majority of Anglo and Franco NB citizens have been coexisting in relative harmony, Lamrock has chosen to once again polarize the two solitudes. By implying that the EFI program is elitist, that this pro-French program is causing streaming to the detriment of other anglophones, he has reignited a dormant yet radical anti-French mentality. It seems to me apt, in this holy week, that Minister Lamrock has chosen to resurrect the the age-old English/French biases.

Congratulations Mr Lamrock. By ignoring respected academic research, by predetermining the outcome of your own study, by refusing to give due diligence to citizens who object to this decision, and by force-feeding us in an accelerated time-frame ...You have managed to place the entire Province in a state of turmoil and adversity. You have made a farce of our claim to be an officially bilingual province. And your government wishes to reverse the "brain-drain" and attract immigrants? Why on earth would they chose to come here?...or stay here?

Andrea Wilson, Sackville, NB

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