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While we applaud the appointment of Minister Kris Austin to the committee reviewing the Official Languages Act as offering an additional viewpoint; we strongly disagree with Premier Higgs’ suggestion that this negates the need for the People’s Alliance. 

If anything, it does more than ever to show why we are vital to New Brunswick.

The immediate and vicious reaction of the SANB, Liberal Leader Susan Holt, and Green MLA Kevin Arseneau is a prime example of why.

This behavior must stop. We cannot have leaders in a democratic society who do not support democracy. Leaders who try to silence the voice they don’t personally care to hear and who want to leave large portions of the community outside of any policy or decision that does not fit their agenda.  

Most importantly, we cannot afford to have leaders who continue to divide us. We need leaders focused on uniting. On working together. On respecting one another.  

It’s time for us to come together. To stop insulting one another, tuning one another out, and dehumanizing one another over petty differences. In a democratic society, everyone has a voice. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard. By voting, the people will decide what they accept and don’t – let that process happen.

We are witnessing nothing more than “politics as usual.”

Premier Higgs is making a strategic political move. Minister Austin, oddly enough, is now a part of a secret, “behind closed doors” review committee such as he specifically railed and campaigned against – but it’s a significant feather in his political cap. Susan Holt is looking to establish herself as the Leader of the Liberals, a party strongly dependent on the Francophone vote. The SANB has never taken a cooperative or collaborative approach to anything – their strategy has always been to demand, intimidate, threaten, and sue.

So yes, it’s business as usual.

Furthermore, it’s a huge, controversial move than takes the focus away from healthcare, affordable housing, French Immersion, and tax cuts for the wealthy. 

Don’t let yourself be sidetracked from what is important. The circus is only in town for a short time before it moves on, and the next amusement venture arrives.