Health care and social services

By law, New Brunswick's Francophones are entitled to receive service in French everywhere in the province. Yet in spite of the passage of the new Official Languages Act, equitable access to health services in French is still not a fact of life in New Brunswick.

Over a number of years, the healthcare sector has gone through many reforms. In 2002, the first reform created eight regional health authorities in the existing healthcare regions. Each authority had to determine healthcare needs in its region, the services required to meet those needs, and the way resources would be used to meet them. The government undertook to establish an integrated, patient-centred community healthcare network for all New Brunswickers. In 2008, the government launched another reform, reducing the number of health authorities to two: Authority A, designated bilingual; and Authority B, Anglophone.

The new situation threatens to deprive Francophones of their right to work in French and receive high-quality services in their language, so a citizens' committee called Égalité en Santé has undertaken to challenge the reform in court. The committee has the support of the SANB.