POLITICS

Broadcasters announce debate deal with all leaders except Harper

05/21/2015 02:41 EDT | Updated 05/21/2016 05:59 EDT
A broadcasting consortium has reached an agreement in principle with all the major federal political parties except the Conservatives to stage an English debate and a French debate for the upcoming federal election.

While the Tories have yet to sign on, the consortium said in a statement it is "optimistic that this new proposal will be accepted" by the Conservatives. 

The consortium, which includes CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV and Global, also announced it will be partnering with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and YouTube to provide  "unprecedented digital reach."

The announcement comes the same day the Conservatives said they had accepted the Munk Debates offer of a debate on foreign policy, bringing the number of debate invitations accepted by the governing Conservatives to four.

The Conservatives had already agreed to an English debate hosted by Maclean's and Rogers and a French-language debate hosted TVA, both of which were announced last week, as well as a proposal for an English debate on the economy hosted by the Globe and Mail and Google.