Yes, Ambulance NB failed its linguistic obligations as prescribed by the Official Languages Act.

Bilingualism Health

On 25 July 2020, a sick and distressed elderly resident of a francophone old person's home in Cap-Pelé needed to be transported to hospital. The three ambulance attendants sent on the call were unilingual anglophones, whereas the patient did not speak English. As it turned out, members of the lady's family had act as interpreters between their mother and the attendants. 

On the 5th of August the Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB), a francophone rights defense group, sent out a press release in which it stated that Ambulance NB did not comply with its obligations to furnish equal quality French language services. According to the SANB, Ambulance NB is a crown corporation, managed by the Médavie group, and under obligation to comply with the Official Languages Act. 

Ambulance NB and Médavie confirmed the facts surrounding the incident and admitted they did not comply with their linguistic obligations. They argued that annual leave caused a lack of available bilingual staff. They gave assurances that offering service in both official languages remains a priority

Alexandre Cédric Doucet
Président Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick

"Ambulance NB failed it's linguistic obligations while responding to an emergency."


August 25, 2020