Conservative Leadership Debate In French Will Be Held With Non-Fluent Candidates

Even with everything else going on in the world, the Conservative leadership debates are moving forward. The first of these will be held in French. What could make this more interesting is that some of the candidates reportedly aren't fluent in the language.

The event will be airing live online on June 17 starting at 7:00 PM Eastern time on CBC. It will feature all four candidates in a socially distanced format: Peter MacKay, Erin O'Toole, Derek Sloan, and Leslyn Lewis.

Global News reports, however, that none of the candidates can speak fluent French.

That could make it difficult to win over voters in Quebec, a province that gave the majority of its votes to Liberal and Bloc Quebecois candidates.

Party frontrunners MacKay and O'Toole have taken different approaches to winning voters in the province over.

O'Toole's platform, available on his website, has an entire section dedicated to Quebec. Part of it is working with the province "in order to significantly increase its autonomy in respect to decisions related to immigration, including refugees and family reunification."

Meanwhile, MacKay shared a video on Twitter to show that he is learning French from his wife, Nazanin Afshin-Jam.

"People ask me about my progress in French, I invite you to watch the following video to find out!" MacKay wrote in French.

Derek Sloan's platform does not address any issues specifically pertaining to Quebec, but the candidate has come under fire for his remarks about Dr. Theresa Tam and questioning her loyalty to Canada. 

He does occasionally share a tweet that is written in French.

Leslyn Lewis similarly does not have a Quebec-focused portion as part of her platform either.

It's not just the leadership hopefuls that have problems en Français.

During the 2019 election, it was clear that Andrew Scheer struggled the most in the French debates, with Jagmeet Singh impressing people more with his bilingual skills.

Scheer even got low-key slammed by a reporter for his limited language skills in a recent press conference.