05/08/2015 12:44 EDT | Updated 05/08/2016 05:59 EDT

New Brunswick group holds protest to call for equal rights for anglophones

FREDERICTON - A group has formed in New Brunswick that says official bilingualism in the province costs too much and favours francophones.

Members of Equal Rights for New Brunswick Anglophones held a noon-hour rally in front of the legislature in Fredericton Friday.

Spokesman Barry Irvine says anglophones in the province aren't being properly represented and the government isn't listening.

"We don't want to be forced into bilingualism. We want the choice of bilingualism," Irvine said.

He said students must learn French and many anglophones cannot get jobs because of bilingual requirements.

"When you restrict people from getting jobs through discriminating policy, that's not promoting bilingualism, that's promoting favouritism," he said.

About 100 people attended the protest, many of them carrying signs such as "English majority needs jobs too" and "New Brunswick government robbing Peter to pay Pierre."

The group wants the provincial government to create an English language commissioner and scrap hiring policies based on language.

They also want government to review and commit funding for English heritage initiatives.

New Brunswick is Canada's only officially bilingual province.