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Formal response on Official Languages Act review to come in fall

CANADA, June 30 - FREDERICTON (GNB) – To ensure a thorough evaluation of the recommendations made through the review of the Official Languages Act, the provincial government will provide a formal response in the fall.

“Providing an appropriate and comprehensive response to these recommendations is crucial and should not be rushed,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We need to get it right.”

In recent months the provincial government has been reviewing the recommendations included in the 2021 Review of New Brunswick's Official Languages Act – Organization, Communication and Engagement report and in the second-language learning report.

“These recommendations are complex and can have an impact on the daily lives of all New Brunswickers. They are far-reaching, covering a variety of areas, including the workplace, education, the operation of municipalities and even the role of the commissioner,” said Higgs. “We need more time to consider the best structure to provide services within all parts of government. At the end of the day, we want to provide the best services possible in the most effective way.”

There are several recommendations relating to local government. As the provincial government moves forward with local governance reform, it will determine what role new regional entities should play in service delivery and how it can better reflect regional language demographics.

Further analysis of standardized assessments of language skills is also needed.

Provisions under the Official Languages Act require it to be reviewed every 10 years. Judge Yvette Finn and John McLaughlin were appointed as commissioners by the provincial government to oversee the review.