Sunday, December 10, 2023

Poor French ‘serious handicap’ for Tory leadership hopefuls, says former languages commissioner

For Stephanie Chouinard, a bilingual prime minister is a leader that embodies the ideals that Canada’s “founding fathers” built the country upon.

“It was very clear in their mind that Canada was to be a country made up of several nationalities who would make up a new political entity, but would not swallow or erase these different identities,” she told Cross Country Checkup.

While the Royal Military College and Queen’s University assistant professor acknowledges that the prime minister doesn’t need to have a “perfect” grasp on both of the country’s official languages, she believes they should have a “functional ability.”

“They need to be able to convey their ideas to Canadians in both languages,” Chouinard, who is Francophone, said.

As the campaign for the next Conservative Party leader heats up, so do questions about the candidates’ ability to communicate in both English and French.

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