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Quebec election 2022: Premier François Legault says he won’t participate in English-only debate

Quebec Premier François Legault will not be participating in an English-language debate ahead of the fall election.

A spokesperson for the premier confirmed Friday they had “declined the invitations for two debates, one of which is in English.”

“The premier will already take part in the debates organized by the TVA and Radio-Canada networks,” Ewan Sauves said in an email. “It’s important to understand that each debate requires significant and non-negligible preparation time.”

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Quebec election 2022: Media consortium extends invitation for English-language debate

Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon also revealed he will not take part in the event, saying the “official and common language in Quebec is French.”

“We will of course be available to answer questions from English-speaking journalists,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Quebec Liberal Party Leader Dominique Anglade issued a statement in the afternoon to say she will participate in the debate. She accused Legault of “turning his back on English-speaking Quebecers.”

“We, Liberals, will always seek to form a government that represents all Quebecers regardless of the language you speak or where you come from,” she said.

Quebec Conservative Party Leader Éric Duhaime says he too will debate in English. Québec solidaire spokeswoman Sandrine Bourque says the party’s candidate for premier, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, will be there even if the CAQ and the PQ won’t.

READ MORE: ‘Democratic crisis’: Electoral reform debate resurfaces ahead of Quebec fall election

Montreal’s major English-language broadcast media organizations invited the leaders of each main political party to a debate before Quebecers head to the polls on Oct. 3.

Legault and the leaders of the Quebec Liberal Party, Québec solidaire, the Parti Québécois and the Conservative Party of Quebec have all been invited to take part in a 90-minute live debate on Sept. 20.

The event will be broadcast live or live-streamed on CBC, CTV, Global and CJAD, the organizations that make up the English media debate consortium.

In 2018, the leaders of the province’s main provincial parties took part in a historic English-language debate. Among them was Legault before the Coalition Avenir Québec was voted into power for the first time.

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At the time, Legault wrote on social media that he accepted the invitation “with great pleasure.”

with files from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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