QCGN challenges all leaders to an elections debate in English
MONTREAL, Aug. 3, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Community Groups Network challenges all parties to hold a leaders' debate in English so that our community can make an educated choice on who to vote for.
"It is extremely important that all Quebecers get a chance to hear from all party leaders. It is a question of respect towards the electorate," said QCGN President Dan Lamoureux. "All citizens should be given the opportunity to be informed on where parties stand on the issues. "
Holding an English-language debate would be a sign of generosity towards the English-speaking population that is one of Quebec's founding communities, especially since there are a significant number of senior voters who are much less bilingual than our youth. Lamoureux also notes that an English debate would also force leaders to discuss issues relevant to English-speaking Quebecers as well as general issues that matter to all Quebecers.
In nearby New Brunswick, leaders' debates are held in both official languages. While the percentage of Francophones in the minority community is greater, their numbers are much smaller. In the last provincial election in neighbouring Ontario, a leaders' debate was held in French. Only Premier Dalton McGuinty was bilingual enough to participate. The other parties delegated substitutes.
"During federal elections, French-speaking Quebecers and French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec have an opportunity to hear the views of the main parties in both languages. Our minority community should be no less deserving," said Lamoureux. "We urge all leaders to reconsider their stance and agree to a debate in English."
The Quebec Community Groups Network is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 41 English-language community organizations across Quebec. Its mission is to identify, explore and address strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of English-speaking Quebec and to encourage dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders.
SOURCE: QUEBEC COMMUNITY GROUPS NETWORK (QCGN)For further information:
Rita Legault, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 514-868-9044, ext. 223, cellular: 514-912-6555