Ottawa

'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.