Anglo community the big winner after English-language debate

Click to play video: 'Reaction to Quebec’s first ever English-language debate' Reaction to Quebec’s first ever English-language debate
For the first time ever, the leaders from Quebec's four major parties went head-to-head in a televised English-language debate. Global's Elysia Bryan-Baynes brings you reactions from Montreal's English-speaking community – Sep 17, 2018

The first English-language television debate in Quebec history prompted viewing parties at several locations across Montreal, including the offices of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).

The people who gathered there let out a cheer towards the end of the debate when all four party leaders pledged to maintain the Anglophone Secretariat if elected to the National Assembly.

At a viewing party organized by Concordia University political science students, Camille Ross-Williams said she believed the debate could have a positive influence on student interest.

“I think this debate is going to have a positive effect on voter turnout,” she told Global News.

READ MORE: Party leaders face off in historic English-language debate

But students did express concern over the heated debate about immigration.

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Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard, exchanged barbs with the Coalition Avenir Québec’s (CAQ) François Legault, who was also attacked by Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée over his position on reducing the number of immigrants to Quebec.

WATCH BELOW: Liberal leader Philippe Couillard answers voters’ concerns

Click to play video: 'Liberal leader Philippe Couillard answers voters’ concerns' Liberal leader Philippe Couillard answers voters’ concerns
Liberal leader Philippe Couillard answers voters’ concerns – Sep 18, 2018

“I’m concerned about the CAQ,” said Christopher Kalafatidis.

“They seem to fall into the trend of ethno-nationalist parties that we see popping up in North America, such as Donald Trump’s movement in the United States and Doug Ford’s movement in Ontario.”

READ MORE: Fact-checking the English leaders’ debate

While few would pronounce on which of the four party leaders won Monday night’s debate, all agreed that the English-speaking community was a real winner.

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“I’m very happy we are having an English-language debate,” said Kalafatidis. “It shows Quebec is changing.”

That sentiment was echoed by QCGN’s president Geoffrey Chambers.

“I think it’s great that we had it. I think they all showed well. They showed more energy and more confidence than you would have expected.”

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