[lg policy] New Brunswick: Fredericton mayor tweets about language-segregated school bus policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Jun 18 16:35:43 UTC 2015

 Fredericton mayor calls for debate on 'divisive' school bus policy
 CTV Atlantic: Language debate
  Fredericton mayor wades back into language debate

  Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside is once again stoking controversy with
online comments about language duality and separate school buses.




   - 1

CTV Atlantic
 Published Wednesday, June 17, 2015 8:06PM ADT

Months after making controversial online comments about New Brunswick’s
school bussing and language duality policies, Fredericton’s mayor is wading
back into the fray.

In February, Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside tweeted language duality
should be on the table as the province looks for ways to save money.

The next day Woodside tweeted the premier had informed him language duality
was not on the table, “end of story.”
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 [image: Controversial tweet]

This tweet from Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside sparked controversy by
criticizing the province's segregated school bus policy.

But last Friday Woodside took to Twitter again, saying he is convinced
segregated school buses for francophone and anglophone students is “wrong”
and “divisive.”

On Wednesday, after his tweet had garnered a strong and mixed reaction,
Woodside said he’s happy to use his profile as mayor to start a dialogue.

“I'm doing it because I think it's a wrong that should be righted,”
Woodside said.

“It doesn't favour any group. It favors both groups.”

School buses segregated by language has been a contentious issue in New
Brunswick, with the provincial government arguing that the charter’s
guarantee of a dual education system extends to the school bus system.

A judicial review, ordered by the province, is currently underway.

In the meantime, the provincial government has moved to stop the
transportation of 92 francophone and anglophone speaking students who were
travelling on the same bus.

Woodside’s comments come as language duality is about to be thrust back
into the spotlight in Canada’s only bilingual province.

New Brunswick’s commissioner of official languages is expected to release
her annual report Thursday.

Acknowledging the issue is an emotional one, Woodside said he’s not
finished talking about it.

“If kids are good enough to play together, they're good enough to drive
together to school on the same bus,” Woodside said.

“Just because there's a constitutional issue doesn't mean things can't be
changed if you make the situation better,” he said.

The situation, though, is sensitive, says Brent Petersen.

He’s an anglophone, but his children attend a francophone school in

“Having four kids in the school system here I appreciate how much work and
effort it is for the French community to maintain their culture and
language in Fredericton,” Petersen said.


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