LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal rival Justin Trudeau both say they have agreed after all to take part in a campaign leaders’ debate focused on foreign affairs issues scheduled for later this month.
The NDP’s concerns over whether or not the Munk debate would be sufficiently bilingual have been satisfied, Mulcair said Tuesday during a campaign event in Lethbridge, Alta.
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“It now appears that it is going to be on the shoulders of the participants to ensure that it’s going to be in French,” Mulcair said.
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“I can tell you that I will ensure that it will be bilingual.”
The Liberals later followed Mulcair’s lead, with spokeswoman Kate Purchase issuing a statement that said Trudeau would be there despite lingering doubt about the extent to which the debate will take place in both official languages.
“While we continue to have concerns with the nature of the format with regards to language, there has been some accommodation,” the statement said.
“Foreign policy is a critical issue, particularly with the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, and we look forward to debating these issues fully.”
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Trudeau had made his participation in all of the national leaders’ debates conditional on having an equal number take place in French and in English.
The Munk debate is scheduled for Sept. 28 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. The Conservatives have already confirmed that Stephen Harper will be taking part.
The leaders had until noon Tuesday to officially accept the debate invitation.
The Munk debate will be broadcast in French and English both online and on CPAC, the Canadian Public Affairs Channel.