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Acadian group backs appointment of judge, educator to New Brunswick language review

Last Updated Feb 26, 2021 at 1:54 pm EDT

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick has appointed a provincial court judge and a former deputy education minister to oversee a review of the province’s Official Languages Act.

The premier’s office says Judge Yvette Finn and John McLaughlin will be expected to consult with the public and stakeholders before making recommendations to the government, with a final report due by Dec. 31.

The Societe de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick, a group that advocates for French-language rights in the province, welcomed the appointment of the two commissioners, saying both have the necessary expertise to conduct the review.

The provincial government says Finn, who was a university professor before becoming a lawyer, has a long history of involvement with Acadian groups, while McLaughlin has held a number of roles in the education system.

Premier Blaine Higgs announced the review in January, saying at the time that new technologies and out-migration have created challenges in delivering government services in both languages.

In addition to the formal review, the commissioners will be asked to find ways to improve access to both official languages for all New Brunswickers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press