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Cuts to public service bilingualism program not part of Harper's austerity agenda

Conservatives contemptuous of a bilingual Canada, concludes NDP.

Godin: Communities will pay the price of an ideological government refusing to respect bilingualism.OTTAWA, ON, January 16, 2012: New Democrats slam cuts to nearly 200 teaching positions at the Canada School of Public Service. These courses allowed public servants to learn or perfect their skills in one of the country's two official languages.

"The Harper government's attitude toward bilingualism is totally inconsistent. On the one hand, it claims to support bilingualism, but on the other, it cuts an essential program that allows public servants to offer quality services to all Canadians," said Yvon Godin (Acadie-Bathurst), NDP Official Languages Critic. "Once again, the country's language communities will pay the price of an ideological government that refuses to respect the very notion of bilingualism in Canada."

A spokesperson for the President of the Treasury Board, Tony Clement, said the decision to cut the School of Public Service "is not part of the deficit reduction program".

"If these cuts aren't part of the government's austerity program, then it seems the Conservatives simply have contempt for French-speaking Canadians," added Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières), NDP Critic for Francophonie. "New Democrats call on the government to immediately explain its outright attack on the French language, because this represents yet another insult to Francophone communities from coast to coast to coast."

Posted: January 18, 2012

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