FREDERICTON (CNB) – The provincial government unveiled today a two-year plan designed to measure progress, improve services and prepare for the next evaluation and review of the Official Languages Act.

The 2011-13 Government Plan on Official Languages: Official Bilingualism – A strength sets goals and identifies steps that the provincial government will take to ensure compliance with official languages legislation. It is intended for Part 1 of the provincial public service.

"This plan reflects our government's commitment to strengthening New Brunswick's official languages, which are key elements of our competitiveness and growth strategies," said Premier David Alward. "Our bilingualism is a unique advantage that has the potential to translate into an even greater selling proposition. As a public service, we can lead by example to help achieve that greater potential."

The four main objectives of the plan are:

●    language of service – an active offer and provision of services of equal quality in English and French, according to the person's choice, regardless of location in the province;
●    language of work – the possibility for employees to work and have a career in English or French, according to their personal choice;
●    the promotion of official languages – the promotion of official bilingualism in New Brunswick and the encouragement, through positive measures, of the development of the province's anglophone and francophone communities; and
●    knowledge of the Official Languages Act – a thorough knowledge and understanding of the act, policies and regulations as well as the provincial government's official language obligations.

An important component of the plan is a complete revision of the Language Training Program to ensure employees have access to efficient training adapted to their needs. The objective is to ensure that the necessary conditions are in place to enable the public service to improve the delivery of quality services in both official languages.

The Government Plan on Official Languages is considered an important step toward the next evaluation and review of the Official Languages Act by the end of 2012.

The Government Plan on Official Languages will enable the provincial government to follow clearly the progress made with respect to official languages; target its actions better; provide more effective follow-up; and be equipped for the review of the act.

"By adopting the Government Plan on Official Languages, we are reaffirming New Brunswick's commitment to official bilingualism," said Alward. "We are acknowledging the enormous progress that has been made to date, and we are setting a course to reduce the gap that remains between our aspirations as a society and the current reality."

The 2011-13 Government Plan on Official Languages: Official Bilingualism – A strength is on the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs website.


●    Department of Intergovernmental Affairs: