Liberals Would Cut French Immersion

September 10, 2013

(Eastern Passage, N.S.) While the Liberal education platform has been thin on details, their education critic has been clear on what she’d like to see done with French immersion.

As reported in Metro on January 20, 2011: “Casey acknowledged that ‘whenever you name one of those, you’re going to step on somebody’s toes.’ But she suggested high school French immersion classes might be one to consider.”

“Kids who are in French immersion, early French immersion, by the time they get to Grade 6 they’re fully bilingual … Is French immersion something that needs to stay on the table from P-12?”

The statement was made the day after Stephen McNeil appointed Casey as his education critic, and it’s the Liberals’ clearest education commitment to date. NDP candidate Becky Kent said parents are worried their kids might not have access to French immersion under a Liberal government.

“In New Brunswick the Shawn Graham Liberal government tried to cut French immersion in schools, and from Casey’s comments it’s clear the Liberals want to do the same in Nova Scotia. The Liberals are a risky choice for parents who want to ensure their kids get the best start in life by being able to speak both official languages,” said Kent.

Kent said the NDP is putting kids and learning first by capping class sizes in Grades P-6, adding more guidance councillors and mental health specialists to schools and ensuring classrooms have the lowest student to teacher ratio in over a decade.

“While the NDP has made tough choices to make sure our classrooms have the resources they need to help our kids learn, the Liberals have had made empty promises with the exception of cutting French immersion.”

Kent also spoke to the Liberals’ tuition announcement earlier today.

“The Liberals always say nice things about education while doing quite the opposite. The fact of the matter is the Liberals ushered in the most massive tuition increase in our province’s history in the 1990s and voted against the largest investment in student assistance in a generation made by the NDP.”

She also said the Liberals tuition plan leaves many questions unanswered.

“Would they pay for this by ending the Graduate Retention Rebate? Would the Liberals remove the cap that’s been set on student loans to pay for this — robbing Peter to pay Paul? What about Nova Scotia graduates who leave home to find work, would this benefit apply to them?