Our provincial population is 33.2% bilingual, 57.7% English only, and 9% French only.
In striving to provide service in the language of choice (French or English) as mandated by our province's Official Languages Act, there has been a recent push by the government of NB (GNB) to achieve a 50% bilingual workforce in the civil service. As such, new job postings are being posted as bilingual-mandatory.
Those who speak only English, the majority language, now cannot apply for jobs in the civil service, whether they want to enter the civil service as a new employee or whether they are a current employee wanting to further their career.
Enforcing a 50% bilingual workforce means that 69% of the bilingual population is eligible for hire or advancement, while only 39.8% of the English-only population is eligible. That is discrimination, and must end.
We are calling on the government of New Brunswick to stop posting jobs as bilingual-mandatory. Bilingualism should be considered and listed as an asset to a posted job, but it must never trump seniority, skill, or other related training that a candidate has.
We are calling on the Government of New Brunswick to balance the actual need for bilingual service in an area with the right for the English-only to be equally involved in the civil service. It must stop eliminating citizens who speak only English from entering or advancing in the provincial workforce. This is especially true in the southern half of the province, which has a 92.21% English-only population versus a 4.78% French-only population. (( UPDATE 11 July/13: The original stats were derived from census numbers for mother tongue. Newest StatsCan figures for Knowledge of Official Languages, which is more accurate: 7 southern counties have 84.3% English-only, 15.08% bilingual, 0.27% French-only, and 0.2% neither official language. LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF THESE COUNTIES CANNOT SPEAK ENGLISH! ))
We are calling on the Government of New Brunswick to use available technology, such as mobile devices and video chat, to provide timely service in the language of choice rather than continuing to enforce a discriminatory hiring ratio.