March 22, 2010
CARAQUET (CNB) - Ten teams from francophone high schools competed in the first provincial debating tournament held on Saturday, March 20, which was International Francophonie Day, at Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux in Caraquet. The event was organized as part of the 21st Provincial French Pride Week.
The team composed of Sébastien Lord, Ryan Normand and Janick Cormer from L'Odyssée of Moncton won top honours, while École Mathieu-Martin of Dieppe was a finalist.
Artist Gilbert LeBlanc fashioned a medal for the winners and finalists, which was unveiled when the prizes were presented to the students. It shows students in conversation with their profile forming an illustration of the Americas. In addition to the medals, each team left with a banner for their school, and the members of the winning team each received an iPod.
"I congratulate the winners, who managed to debate their ideas with ease and conviction," said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert, who is also minister responsible for La Francophonie. "This first provincial francophone debating tournament will certainly be a model that will optimize the potential of the province's young leaders in the years to come."
The students debated the following question: In vour view, was the Equal Opportunity Program introduced in the 1960s by Premier Louis J. Robichaud and continued into the 1970s by his successor, Richard Hatfield, beneficial to all New Brunswickers?
"The 30 young people who participated in the tournament on the weekend performed brilliantly and gave us some exciting moments," said Monique Caissie, president of the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick (AEFNB). "Our young people are incredibly talented, and I commend them. Well done to the winning team and the finalists who kept us on the edge of our seats until the very end."
This provincial debating tournament meets several educational objectives such as the debating component of the Grade 12 French language arts program, citizen participation in social studies programs, and careers involving oral communication skills.
This activity was made possible through a partnership between the Department of Education and the AEFNB.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Geneviève Mallet-Chiasson, communications, Department of Education, 506-444-2455; Nicole Dupéré, communications, Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick, 506-472-1749.