[lg policy] Fredricton updates language policy

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri May 24 14:55:32 EDT 2019


In an effort to boost bilingual services, Fredericton updates its language
policy
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Staff working directly with the public will be required to greet residents
in both official languages
Gary Moore
<https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/gary-moore-1.3166014> · CBC
News · Posted: May 22, 2019 8:22 AM AT | Last Updated: May 22
Wayne Tallon, director of Corporate Strategy and Safety Services for the
city, hopes the new language revisions will be in place by November. (Gary
Moore/CBC)

The City of Fredericton is making changes to its language policy in an
effort to better serve bilingual residents.

City staff working directly with the public will be required to greet
residents with "hello, bonjour," which will give people a chance to be
served in either language.

Wayne Tallon, director of Corporate Strategy and Safety Services for the
city, says the new changes include a network system. This will allow an
inquiry to be transferred to another city worker, if a staff person who
answers the call can only speak English.

Tallon says the city won't have to hire any new staff to work with the
system, and says it will be a "single-hand off" for inquiries that need to
be transferred to another person.

"We have a lot of people on staff right now that are subject matter
experts," Tallon said, following a council-in-committee meeting Tuesday.

   - French an 'asset' but not the priority in hiring Fredericton police
   <https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/fredericton-police-force-french-bilingual-1.4563760>

   - Fredericton police broke language and conduct rules, investigation
   finds
   <https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/fredericton-police-language-complaint-french-1.4515232>

Coun. Henri Mallet asked Tallon to ensure the new changes will create an
authentic experience for bilingual residents.

"That first interaction needs to be genuine and happy to be in this
organization. That it's not like it's an inconvenience," said Mallet.
Coun. Henri Mallet is hopeful changes to the city's language policy will
result in an authentic experience for bilingual residents. (CBC)

The city's annual bilingualism budget is $250,000. That money is spent on
French interpretation of regular council and planning advisory committee
meetings, along with translating documents and meeting minutes.

The city doesn't have anyone on staff who provides those services,
therefore work is contracted out. But council has requested the city look
at the possibility of hiring staff to do that work internally instead.
More documents available in French

Revisions to the city's language policy also means more documents will be
available in French.

Tallon says contractors and consultants will be required to provide a
detailed executive summary at the end of a project that the city will then
translate into French.

Fredericton and other New Brunswick cities have been subject to the
province's Official Languages Act since 2002. Tallon says the city has done
a good job in providing bilingual services.

"The key performance indicator there is that we got very few complaints,"
he said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Moore
<https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/gary-moore-1.3166014>

CBC News

Gary Moore recently moved from Corner Brook, NL to join the CBC team in
Fredericton. He's an associate producer with Information Morning.

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-- 
=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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