The Premier of Quebec has declined an invitation to participate in a debate in English ahead of the upcoming provincial elections this fall.
The invitation was sent by a consortium of English-language media, made up of CBC, CTV, Global and CJAD.
“We have declined invitations for two debates, including one in English,” said Ewan Sauves, spokesperson for François Legault.
“You have to understand that each debate requires significant and significant preparation time.
The spokesperson also indicated that Legault would participate in French-language debates organized by TVA and Radio-Canada.
On Friday, the Parti Québécois also announced that it would not participate in the Anglophone debate.
In a tweet, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, the leader of the party, declared that “the official and common language of Quebec is French”.
In a statement, Quebec Liberal Party leader Dominique Anglade called Legault’s decision “deplorable.”
“François Legault is turning his back on part of the Quebec population,” Anglade 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 history.
This year, the Anglophone media consortium also sent invitations to the Liberal Party of Quebec, Quebec solidaire, the Parti Quebecois and the Conservative Party of Quebec.
All five parties were invited to participate in a 90-minute live debate on September 20 at the Nouvelle Maison Radio-Canada in downtown Montreal.
The next provincial election is scheduled for October 3.