On Wednesday evening, October 2, there was the first French leader debate of the 2019 federal election campaign. Four of the party leaders, Yves-François Blanchet of the Bloc Québécois, Andrew Scheer of the Conservative Party, Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party and Jagmeet Singh of the NDP faced off in Quebec to discuss the different issues of the campaign, of course, in French. While it's one of the national languages in Canada, it is not the mother tongue of the Conservative leader or the NDP leader. That's why after the debate, Quebeckers and many other Canadians are impressed by
The debate, which is called a Face-to-Face, was broadcast on TVA. It began in force with questions about abortion and the issue of Bill 21. However, online Canadians aren't talking about policy issues. A different story from the debate seems to have caught people's attention — the level of French the leaders are speaking.
While Yves-François Blanchet and Justin Trudeau are more fluent in French, the big surprise of the night is Jagmeet Singh who seems to be holding his own when it comes to Canada's other official language.
@theJagmeetSingh Congrats - your French language use is excellent— ShortCanuck (@ShortCanuck)1570063688.0
Watching the French federal leaders’ debate. I didn’t realize Jagmeet Singh spoke French so well!— Barbara Larochelle (@Barbara Larochelle)1570063339.0
@theJagmeetSingh ‘a French is actually very good!— RG (@RG)1570062755.0
So what if @theJagmeetSingh's French is better than mine even though he's not from Quebec. Good for him that he's s… https://t.co/pI4RFxslFn— jess salomon (@jess salomon)1570062363.0
.@theJagmeetSingh’s French is really good, much better than most of the political watchers anticipated— Mercedes Stephenson (@Mercedes Stephenson)1570062282.0
Some Canadians congratulated Singh on his use of the language while one wrote "[Jagmeet Singh's] French is better than mine even though he's not from Quebec. Good for him that he's so hot and also just great at French."
Others who have mentioned Singh's French couldn't resist comparing him to Andrew Scheer.
Ok this debate is turning into a love fest between @AndrewScheer and @theJagmeetSingh when it comes to the french l… https://t.co/SPYKGO25Md— David Ciamarro (@David Ciamarro)1570062449.0
I may not speak French but can still tell that @theJagmeetSingh’s French is better than Scheer’s. #cndpoli #elxn43— Lisa Kirbie (@Lisa Kirbie)1570061826.0
One wrote, "I may not speak french but can still tell that [Jagmeet Singh's] French is better than Scheer's."
Another agreed, saying, "he expresses himself very well and gets his point across."
While social media is flooded and clearly engaged with who the best speaker is, at the end of the day it's the debate content and what the leaders have to say that really matters.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Quebec.