New Brunswick’s education minister has apologized to the family of an 11-year-old student she referred to as a political “prop” during the legislature in December 2022.
Bill Hogan came under fire in the fall session after saying a middle school student was being used as a prop in an ongoing fight over the future of French immersion in New Brunswick.
Hogan said during the session, “I was very disappointed by the stunt that the executive director of Canadian Parents for the French did last week here in the gallery – using a student as a prop.” December 14, 2022,
Hogan’s reference came a week after a mother and her child, Grade 7 student Natasha Robichaud, who attends one of the schools hosting a new French-language pilot program, spoke to reporters at the legislature about how She was not receiving the same quality of French instruction. As she was in French immersion.
His mother, Christina Robichaud, says she has received an apology from the minister.
Christina Robichaud said, “He apologized that was not his intention as it came out and did not mean to offend us as a family.”
“He really just considered the fact that it was an attention-grabbing thing, while I explained to him that my children were there because they are very active and passionate about their education and we were there to deal with the situation. “
New Brunswick’s Department of Education will launch a community consultation on the future of the French program across the province next week.