FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Blaine Higgs issued the following statement today to mark the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act:

This anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate together our province’s two official linguistic communities.

We can all be proud of living in the only officially bilingual province in our country. Bilingualism is much more than a matter of language and individual skills leading to a job. It involves culture and heritage, and is an integral part of our history and identity.

Each of our official linguistic communities contributes to our province’s development, our diversity and our openness to the world.

Since the enactment of this legislation in 1969, numerous measures have been implemented to foster the cultural, economic, educational and social development of the official linguistic communities.

We must keep progressing toward substantive equality between the official linguistic communities and, above all, a better understanding of the importance of the act. I am convinced that, together, we can continue the work of bringing the two communities closer together and allowing them to flourish.

A variety of events and initiatives will take place this year to mark this anniversary, in partnership with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and several other community organizations in New Brunswick.

I invite you to take part in them and to celebrate the richness and vitality of the official languages and our province’s bilingual character. Two languages, one province, a world of possibilities.