ARCHIVED - Ottawa, June 7, 2002

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A red-letter day for New Brunswick: The Commissionner of Official Languages congratulates the province for the adoption of its new Official Languages Act

The Commissioner of Official Languages, Dr. Dyane Adam, warmly congratulates the members of the New Brunswick legislature for the unanimous adoption of the province's new Official Languages Act. "The government has shown leadership by adopting a new Act that reinforces the language rights of its population. The province has become a beacon for the values that underlie Canadian linguistic duality," declared the Commissioner.

Dr. Adam pointed out that the new Act guarantees the active offer of government services in both official languages. The Act also sets out that services will be offered in both official languages in various sectors that have a direct impact on the lives of the citizens of the province: municipal services, policing services, the administration of justice and finally, health services. "Access to health care in one's own language constitutes a priority, not only for Acadians, but for all of the official language minority communities across the country. The government made an important gesture by including such guarantees in the Act," affirmed the Commissioner.

Dr. Adam is particularly pleased with the creation of the position of Official Languages Commissioner for the province. This person will have the mandate to ensure respect for language rights and also to promote the advancement of both official languages in the province.

However, Dr. Adam would have liked to see the government give the new Commissioner the right to apply to the Courts for a remedy in cases of non-respect of the Act and to include the question of language of work in the provincial public service in the new Act.

"Overall, the new Act represents a great step forward for the citizens of New Brunswick. This is an important day that must be celebrated. I offer my support to New Brunswick in the implementation of their new Act," concluded Dr. Adam.

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