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N.B. ombudsman to investigate controversial decision to axe French immersion

Ombudsman has received over 200 complaints

New Brunswick Ombudsman Bernard Richard says he will investigate the provincial government’s decision to eliminate early French immersion in the school system.Richard says he has received more than 200 complaints about the Liberal government’s decision to axe early immersion in favour of an intensive French training program for all students beginning in Grade 5.

Richard says, at the very least, the provincial government should delay implementation of the plan until 2009.

He says the delay would allow for more public discourse on the subject and give parents and students more time to adjust to any changes.

Richard, a former education minister in Frank McKenna’s Liberal government, says he believes it’s a big gamble to eliminate early immersion, one that could set back English and French relations in Canada’s only officially bilingual province.

Richard hopes to have a report ready by June on the issue.

-with a report from CP 

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