The provincial Liberals are calling on Conservative leader Blaine Higgs to participate in all of the debates organized by major media organizations. Higgs declined the Radio-Canada debate and the Rogers French debate. Premier Brian Gallant has accepted to participate in the Rogers French leaders’ debate that is still planned despite Higgs’ absence.
“The Conservatives have a history of being afraid to debate their ideas,” said Liberal candidate for Edmundston-Madawaska-Centre Jean-Claude D’Amours. “In 2014, David Alward tried to drop out of the CBC debate and this year Blaine Higgs has declined two debates, refused to allow media to attend his recent fundraiser with Jason Kenney, and has barred Liberal staffers from attending his public media events.”
For at least the last three election cycles, the leaders of the two major parties participated in five debates: CBC, Radio-Canada, Rogers/Brunswick News English, Rogers/Brunswick News French, and CTV.
Higgs recently stated that he has learned French “relatively well”, yet has declined to debate despite this.
“What is Higgs afraid of? He has debated in both official languages with the aid of translation for eight years,” said D’Amours. “It is time for Higgs to stop hiding and reverse his decision to skip 40% of the debates.”
The Liberals support the use of simultaneous translation to allow Higgs to participate in the debate but he still declines to debate.