‘This is not a language contest’


The Chisholm campaign responds to concerns about the candidate’s French.

“I admit I was a bit nervous about speaking French for the first time in front of a national audience. It was tough but I’m proud of the fact that I was able to do it”, said Chisholm, who continues to work daily with a tutor. “A real leader has to deal with difficult challenges and never give up. That’s what I did yesterday. Those are the qualities I will bring as leader of the party”, he said.

Responding to some of the negative comments from pundits, Chisholm pointed out the fact that it was pretty ironic that some people would want to exclude him from the leadership race because he is not yet bilngual following a debate that spoke to the need for inclusion. “I do believe it’s important for our next leader to be able to speak French and I will learn it. However, let’s not forget that this is not a language contest, it’s a leadership contest”, he replied. “Our party needs someone who is ready to lead right now. I might be the only unilingual candidate but I’m also the only one who has the real leadership experience we need”, Chisholm said.

The release is also available en francais.


‘This is not a language contest’

  1. And John Crosbie didn’t speak Chinese, if memory serves me correctly. 

  2. I distinctly remember Gerard Kennedy using the phrase “this is not a language contest” in 2006. And that worked out well.

  3. When you’re applying for a job, you’re expected to meet at least the basic qualifications.

    Bilingualism is one of them.

    • Yeah, it would be pretty impossible for him (presuming the NDP dislikes hypocrisy, as I believe they do) to then rant and rave about a unilingual Supreme Court judge.  Which I guess is in the NDP policy book?

  4. Oh, Bobby. You were always a good athlete but no combination of
    dazzling moves is going to get you over that line.

  5. It’s a contest to see who can lead a first time Official Opposition party to government.  Of course when Chisholm led the NDP to Official Opposition in Nova Scotia, the third place PC’s won a majority in the subsequent election, but I suppose that’s as relevant as the French thing. 

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