Saturday, April 19, 2008

Keep fear of debate--editorial Telegraph-Journal

Published Friday April 18th, 2008
Appeared on page A6

The debate over French immersion has taken a nasty turn, swerving into emotional arguments over language that have nothing to do with education.

It's time to start separating emotion from logic, before the situation gets out of control. The government must take the lead.

Education Minister Kelly Lamrock has been treating this issue like a university debate, rather than a major policy shift with the potential to stir a powerful emotional reaction. His tendency to be dismissive, somewhat sarcastic, and deploy argument after argument without much consistency is not helping the government make a strong case.

What New Brunswickers see is the government adopting a policy ostensibly based on a report that is shot through with errors, and refusing to confront those errors or to articulate the logic behind its decisions. The government's yield-no-quarter approach is creating fear and suspicion, when what the public wants is a reasoned debate.


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