Legault refuses to participate in English-language debate for Quebec fall election


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Quebec’s premier has declined an invitation to take part in an English-language debate in the lead-up to the next provincial election this fall.

The invitation was sent by an English-language media consortium, made up of CBC, CTV, Global and CJAD.

“We have declined invitations for two debates, including one in English,” said Ewans Sauvé, the spokesperson for François Legault.

“One must understand that each debate requires significant and non-negligible preparation time.”

The spokesperson also said Legault would take part in French-language debates organized by TVA and Radio-Canada. 

On Friday, the Parti Québécois also announced it would not participate in the English debate.

In a tweet, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, the party’s leader, said “the official and common language of Quebec is French.”

In a statement, Quebec Liberal Party Leader Dominique Anglade described Legault’s decision as “deplorable.”

“François Legault is turning his back to a part of the Quebec population,” Anglaide said.

In 2018, Legault and several other party leaders took part in a televised, debate in English ahead of that year’s election — a first in Quebec’s history.

This year, the English media consortium also sent invites to the Quebec Liberal Party, Québec Solidaire, the Parti Québécois and the Conservative Party of Quebec.

All five parties were asked to take part in a live 90-minute debate on Sept. 20 at the Nouvelle Maison Radio-Canada in downtown Montreal.

The next provincial election is set for Oct. 3.

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