June 26, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following message commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first elected Acadian premier of New Brunswick, Louis J. Robichaud, was released today by Premier Shawn Graham.
It was 50 years ago this Sunday that Louis J. Robichaud and his team were elected to office.
It was the first time in our province's history that an Acadian was elected to the Office of Premier, a historic event for the Acadian people and all New Brunswickers.
Robichaud and his government introduced a number of significant changes to our province, including the establishment of collective bargaining rights for the civil service and the appointment of a provincial ombudsman. But among his greatest accomplishments was implementing Equal Opportunity.
By giving the provincial government the responsibility for education, hospital services, welfare and the administration of justice, our province became a better place in which to live for everyone.
Throughout the province, public schools and hospitals were modernized. A fairer system of taxation was put into effect to fund those services. And poorer communities received services that were as good as those enjoyed in wealthier areas.
It was also the Robichaud government that passed the Official Languages Act, making French an official language in our province. By doing this, Acadians were guaranteed access to government services in French.
As well, the Robichaud government oversaw the creation of the Université de Moncton to educate Acadians in their own language and promote their culture.
Through these reforms, Robichaud's administration did more than any other previous government had done for the Acadian people. The Robichaud government provided Acadians with equal status and opportunity in New Brunswick.
This legacy continues. During the past 50 years, successive governments have continued the work to make New Brunswick a more socially responsible and progressive province that fosters equality and tolerance for the sake of everyone's well-being.
MEDIA CONTACT: Communications, Office of the Premier, 506-453-2144.