FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's official languages commissioner says more senior provincial officials need to be able to speak both English and French.
In her fourth annual report, released Thursday, Katherine d'Entremont said a survey of francophone organizations and municipalities showed only four of 21 said that French was always used at meetings with senior public servants.
That is unacceptable in Canada's only officially bilingual province, she said.
D'Entremont also said she is concerned that bilingualism was not a stated hiring requirement for three legislative officer positions, including the chief electoral officer.
She said it is an absolute necessity such officers be bilingual, and the province's justification for not requiring it amounts to denying the principle of equality of the two official languages.
She recommends New Brunswick follows Parliament's lead, which in 2013 voted to require legislative officers know English and French.
D'Entremont said in the past year her office received 114 admissible complaints — with 92 based on a lack of service in French and 22 on lack of service in English.
An audit of municipalities and regional commissions found a few failures to obtain service in English and French, but the public can generally obtain services in the official language of their choice, she said.