TORONTO — Most of the federal party leaders are hitting the books today, cramming for Monday’s critical English-language leaders debate like high schoolers before an all-important final exam.
Judging by the Liberal party’s campaign itinerary, though, Justin Trudeau thinks he’s going to ace it.
Instead of debate prep, Trudeau will spend part of the day in a rural community just outside Belleville, Ont., planting trees in a riding that the Liberals barely managed to wrestle away from the Conservatives in 2015.
The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, the only other leader with public events on his agenda, will be in Ottawa to pick up debating tips from Ed Broadbent, the party’s long-standing elder statesman. Later today, he’ll appear on CBC Radio’s live call-in show, “Cross Country Checkup.”
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Green Leader Elizabeth May are both either in or en route to the national capital to prepare for Monday night’s televised debate, arguably the most important event of the campaign so far.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier are also taking part, marking the first time all six leaders have squared off in person on the same debate stage.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2019.
The Canadian Press
Election Update, October 4, 2019
Justin Trudeau unveiled the Liberals’ election platform on Sunday. According to Global News, the plan “boasts billions in new spending, taxes on tech giants, wealthy Canadians and large international corporations, and another four years of red ink on the federal books.” Speaking to media at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, the Liberal leader highlighted the policies he would introduce for college and university students: student grants would increase 40 percent, and graduates would have two years to start making payments on their student loans. Graduates would not have to start repaying the loans until they were making more than $35,000 a year.
Elizabeth May says that, if the Green party were to form the next government, it would introduce a “robot tax” that would be applied every time a company replaced a worker with a machine. “The largest companies in the world today are tech companies, not oil companies,” she said. “However, these innovative technologies must be deployed with the needs of Canadian workers at the forefront of policy discussions. Without proper protections and regulations, the tech industry has the potential to take many jobs.”
A fight broke out outside a Maxime Bernier speaking event Sunday night in Hamilton. According to the Canadian Press, demonstrators at the event at Mohawk College clashed with People’s Party of Canada supporters. Four were arrested for breach of the peace but later released. About 100 people turned out to protest the event, which featured the PPC leader in conversation with YouTube talk-show show Dave Rubin. Joined by two of the party’s candidates, they discussed “preserving ‘freedom’ from censorship in Canada, their doubts about climate change science, keeping government small and Bernier’s plan to repeal the Multiculturalism Act.”
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau showed up for a French−language debate yesterday and faced his rivals directly, for the first time, in this federal election campaign.
But it was Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer who spent a great deal of time in the hot seat.
The debate, hosted by the private TVA television network and newspaper Le Journal de Montreal, pushed Scheer right into uncomfortable territory with its first question, about abortion.
That gave Yves−Francois Blanchet, leader of the Bloc Quebecois, the chance to press the Conservative leader to elaborate on his personal views.
And now with another major debate behind them, the federal party leaders are scattering today.
Scheer is taking his campaign to Atlantic Canada, Singh is in Toronto, Greens’ Elizabeth May and the People’s Party’s Maxime Bernier are on their respective home turfs — May on Vancouver Island and Bernier in Quebec’s Beauce region.