Conservative leadership hopefuls set to face off for the first time tonight

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As the Conservatives once again pursue their search for a Leader, candidates are set to debate. Tonight’s debate will be the first of two back-to-back discussions in the ongoing leadership race that will be held in French.

Tonight’s debate will be followed by another one Thursday in English, both taking place in downtown Toronto and live-streamed online.

All of the questions for the event were submitted by party members via video.

The back-to-back scheduling is one of many concessions the party has had to make in a race upended repeatedly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The debates were initially expected a few weeks apart, one in Toronto, and another in Quebec. But when COVID-19 began to shut down the country in March, that plan was scuttled, as well as all the others for the campaign. The original date of June 27 to pick a new leader has now been pushed to sometime after Aug. 21 — the deadline for party members to have their ballots sent to headquarters for counting.

Canada – as a country – has two official languages: English and French. This means that all federal services, policies, and laws must be enacted and available in both French and English.