Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he stopped taking French lessons as a safety precaution during the pandemic but has promised to do everything he can to learn the language.

Ford made the comment during a press conference on Monday in Tecumseh while making an announcement about funding for a new hospital. 

He was asked by a reporter why he stopped taking French lessons when he had previously promised to learn the language. 

"The pandemic made me stop it," Ford said. "I'll get there, but I just wanted to be safe. I couldnt take the classes when I’m telling other people to go online and take classes. I couldn't have my French teacher in."

Despite not taking lessons, Ford did say he practices his French "all the time" and even gets help from Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney. 

"She's a great French teacher and always gives me the phrases, so I'll get there."

Ford has made several promises to learn how to speak French, even saying in 2019 it would be “pretty easy” to pick up since he studied it from Grade 3 to Grade 9 in school 

He also said he believes every elected official should learn French.

"What I want to show is how much I respect the francophone community here and I’ll do everything to make sure that they know I’m doing everything I can to speak French," Ford said Monday.

"I am bound and determined, I'm going to learn French."