January 18, 2017 3:39 pm
Updated: January 18, 2017 3:45 pm

Kevin O’Leary says French can wait, he’s fluent in ‘language of jobs’

WATCH ABOVE: Kevin O’Leary explains his vision for Canada, says he’s ‘coming’ for PM Trudeau


Kevin O’Leary has no time for accusations he held off on launching his bid for the federal Conservative party leadership until after Tuesday’s French language debate.

The unapologetic O’Leary says his fluency in Canada’s third “official” language outshines all others — the language of jobs.

READ MORE: Kevin O’Leary: The millionaire reality show host who wants to be Canada’s prime minister

“There’s three official languages in Canada: There’s English, there’s French, and there’s the language of jobs,” O’Leary told Global News Wednesday.

“Now I’m sure I’m going to get better at French in the next two years, but I guarantee you when I do my first debate with Trudeau, he will remain illiterate in the language of jobs.”

O’Leary has no experience in politics, however, he is a self-made multi-millionaire businessman.

WATCH: Does the Conservative leader need to need to be fluent in French?

Some believe federal politicians should be able to speak both official languages; a Nielsen survey conducted last year for the Official Languages Commissioner found 86 per cent of Canadians agree the prime minister should be bilingual.

Although O’Leary was born in Montreal, he is not fluent in French. His lack of French skills didn’t stop O’Leary from stepping into the Tory leadership race on Wednesday, his sights set on being Canada’s next prime minister.

READ MORE: Kevin O’Leary: ‘If I don’t deliver a majority mandate in 2019, fire me’

WATCH: French language debate shines light on lack of language skills

Of the 14 candidates vying to lead the federal Conservative party only two are francophone — Maxime Bernier and Steven Blaney.

The Conservative party is set to select its new leader on May 27. The next federal election is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2019.

With a file from Amy Minsky

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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