Fredericton — This week, there has been a great deal of confusion over the province’s plans for the French immersion program. Is it true that the Conservative government plans on altering it, limiting it, or even scrapping it altogether?
At a press event on Monday, the question was posed directly to Premier Blaine Higgs by reporters.
“Get rid of it? No, of course not,” said Higgs, taken aback. “Why on earth would I want to get rid of my wife?”
The reporters looked at one another, confused.
“Oooooh,” he said, giving a light chuckle. “The French…I thought you said the wench. Gosh, my hearing isn’t what it used to be. Yes, you’re right. The French — can’t stand ‘em. Gotta go.”
Not wanting to, in his words, “dirty his hands any further” with the issue, Higgs officially handed the task off to Education Minister Dominic Cardy, who outlined his plans for a new “French emersion” program this morning.
Cardy told reporters that he recognizes that students cannot simply be wholesale extracted from the French immersion program without warning.
“We will start things off simple,” said Cardy. “We’ll have to remove those dreadful Tintin books from the classroom, for instance. That’s step one. Also, braille. No French inventions will be allowed whatsoever. Blind children will just have to figure something else out.”
Despite this sentiment, Cardy says that the province does have the students’ “best interests at heart.”
“We hope to wean them off of the language gradually,” he explained. “So, after a time, the language will begin to shift into a sort of hybrid, ‘Chiac,’ before evolving into proper English.
“Of course, it’ll be hard to develop a reading program for kids who learn only through inane babble,” he admitted. “But, that’s what we have Judy Blume for, isn’t it?”
As Cardy began to take questions, it was clear that the issue on everyone’s mind is how the province expects to deal with the growing number of complaints on behalf of its French population.
“Look, I’ve heard their arguments many times before, but the truth is — when it comes right down to it — our French brothers and sisters will just have to fall in line with our decision, whether they agree with it or not.”
He gave a nonchalant shrug.
“I mean, who’s ever heard of a ‘French revolution?’”