October 09, 2018

Kris Austin: How the People's Alliance defied establishment politics

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

Last week on The Ezra Levant Show, Kris Austin, Leader of the People's Alliance Party of New Brunswick, joined me to explain how his party was able to break through in the recent provincial election and upset the political establishment. 

The People's Alliance supports standard conservative policies like low taxes, resource development, and balanced budgets. But unlike the traditional Progressive Conservatives, the People's Alliance isn't afraid to tackle hot-button issues like corporate welfare and bilingualism. 

New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada, so language is a particularly sensitive issue there. The People's Alliance seeks to end pro-French "affirmative action" hiring practices that limit the talent pool available to the public sector and make it difficult for anglophones to succeed within the bureaucracy. 

WATCH my full interview with Kris Austin to see how he thinks the People's Alliance defiance of political correctness played into their electoral success.

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commented 2018-10-10 02:25:58 -0400
Great interview. All provinces could use a People’s Alliance party. Good to see a politician that knows more than just the political talking points.
commented 2018-10-10 00:24:31 -0400
In all fairness, I do NOT think it is unreasonable to have some kind of bilingualism requirement for paramedics. I’ve talked to a lot of people in New Brunswick about routine day to day purchases in the course of a retail sales job and have noticed that while many New Brunswickers are fluently bilingual, I do occasionally come across people that are effectively unilingual in French in that province. They can, perhaps count to 10 or say the alphabet in English and not much more. If I were one of those people, I would be very anxious that a paramedic should be able to speak to me in French and understand what I say. It’s not a matter of snobbery, it’s a matter of life or death! If I can’t explain where it hurts or what happened or what I might have done to bring on the distress that prompted the call to 911, I would be very worried that I might DIE before a French-speaking paramedic was found. I’m not saying that a paramedic would have to speak perfect unaccented Acadian French but he or she ought to have at least a strong working knowledge of the language.

At the risk of opening another can of worms, this situation raises another issue: what about people who are only fluent in a language that isn’t French or English? I imagine there are such people in New Brunswick and they probably speak a variety of languages. A recent immigrant might have very little French or English. I wonder how a paramedic handles that situation. I saw a (fictional) TV episode the other day where a police officer was using a translation app on his phone to try to talk to someone who only spoke Turkish. Perhaps that’s what a paramedic would do? Anyway, if I was new to an area and did not speak the local languages, I’d sure want the local emergency services to have some way to help me, just as I’d want some access to English translators if I was travelling in an area where English was not widely spoken.

But I digress. I do think it’s reasonable to have some expectation that emergency services are available in all the official languages of the jurisdiction.