Quebec Liberal leader asks media consortium to reschedule English-language debate

Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade has made a plea to the English-language media consortium to reschedule its election debate, writing in a Friday letter that such events are "essential" to democracy.

Party leaders were invited to participate in an English-language debate, initially planned for Sept. 20, by a media consortium of several Quebec English-language outlets, including CTV News.

However, the consortium decided to cancel the event after Premier Francois Legault's CAQ party refused to participate, citing a lack of time to prepare. 

The Parti Quebecois also refused to participate on principle, with party leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon writing to social media that "the official and common language in Quebec is French."

"The goal was to allow all Quebecers to hear the party leaders discuss, debate and question their vision and priorities for Quebec and help all voters make an informed choice," the coalition said in a statement.

"Without the participation of all the main party leaders, the English-language media consortium representatives agree it would not be a fair and informative exercise. As a result, there will be no English-language party leaders debate in this election campaign."

LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade asks media consortium to reschedule English-language debate

Anglade says her party, which has traditionally been popular with English-speaking communities, was disappointed to learn the debate was cancelled.

"These debates allow Quebec electors to head to the polling station with an understanding of the parties’ different positions," she wrote in the letter posted to social media.

"Because of this, these debates play an essential role in the democratic process."

Instead of calling it off outright, Anglade proposed rescheduling it "between June and election day so that each leader has the necessary time to prepare for it."

"At the end of the day, we want to make sure that those debates happen for people to know exactly what each party has to offer," she said in a Friday interview on CJAD 800.

(1/2) Nous étions déçus d’apprendre l’annulation du débat en anglais, suite au désistement de François Legault, faute de temps. Tous les partis devraient pouvoir faire valoir leurs idées, et ce, auprès de tous les Québécois.e.s. pic.twitter.com/JOaYXMqvTY

— Dominique Anglade (@DomAnglade) May 20, 2022

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