Trying to find common ground

Photo of party leaders via CBC

Leaders try to convince voters in Federal Leaders Debate

By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist


With less than a week to go until the Federal Election this year, many people are still undecided on who to vote for. While the parties start to release more information about their platforms and are involved in various debates, the public is still getting more information about their policies—many are still unsure of who will win the election. Because the polls are showing that it is a close race right now, the undecided voters could determine the future of the country.

The entire country gets more of their questions answered and the plans of party leaders better outlined in the Federal Leaders Debate on October 7 at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Québec. The two-hour debate is moderated by CTV News at 11’s Lisa LaFlamme, The National’s Rosemary Barton, Global News Dawna Friesen, the Huffington Post Canada, At Issue’s Althia Raj, and the Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt.

All the party leaders were in the debate including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, and People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier.

The party leaders answer questions from the moderators, the audience, and from citizens around the country about leadership, multiculturalism, Indigenous issues, social equality, and the environment. Each of the moderators hosted one segment of the debate. Some of the interesting moments of the debate includes Scheer’s opening statements. He referenced the recent controversy with Trudeau, and said Trudeau wears various masks when he talks about issues and does not fulfill his promises.

When LaFlamme asked Bernier about some of the offensive tweets that he made, he explains why he does not regret making them—and the rest of the party leaders debated on that point. The issue of Bill 21, a bill in Québec where anyone cannot wear religious symbols in government workplaces, is a major topic in the segment on multiculturalism. Singh said that he will not interfere with the bill, and Trudeau said that he will interfere with it depending on the results of a court action on the bill.

Another memorable moment is when May points out that women should be involved in the conversation, and she is the only female party leader right now. During the segment on the environment, Trudeau and Scheer compared their climate change plans. Singh came into that conversation by saying that instead of voting for “Mr. Deny” or “Mr. Delay,” there is a third choice.

The party leader that won the debate is up to you to decide. The Federal Leaders Debate is something that you should watch before you vote in the Federal Election this year. You can watch it on the internet—especially on CPAC’s website, which also has the press conferences.