Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime said he still wants a debate in English after two other major Quebec party leaders – including Premier Francois Legault – have refused to participate.
The planned debate by the English-language media consortium was cancelled following a snub by Quebec premier and CAQ leader Legault as well as Parti Quebecois (PQ) leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.
The hosting consortium, which is made up of four anglophone legacy media outlets (CBC, CTV, Global and CJAD), had invited the leaders of Quebec’s five major parties to a debate that was set to take place on Sept. 20.
It would have been the second such debate in Quebec history. The first took place during the 2018 election campaign, and was attended by Legault and then PQ leader Jean-Francois Lisée.
Legault declined to participate in this year’s English debate, however, with spokesperson Ewan Sauves telling CBC News that “(o)ne must understand that each debate requires significant and non-negligible preparation time.”
On Twitter, St-Pierre Plamondon said that his party would not participate in the English debate because “(t)he official and common language in Quebec is French.”
He added that he would be available to take questions from anglophone journalists.
Duhaime blasted Legault for snubbing the English debate, accusing him of being divisive and “not a statesman.”
The Conservative leader told The Canadian Press he believes that Quebecers deserve to see issues important to their community debated, including language – something that has been in the news lately with the province’s controversial Bill 96.
Duhaime also wrote a letter to Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade, asking her to join him in a televised English debate even if Legault and St-Pierre Plamondon wouldn’t be there.
“I suggest that we debate anyway, you and I,” wrote Duhaime. “I understand…
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