The Latest on the English-language leaders’ debate among Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and Green Party Leader Annamie Paul (all times local):
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul says she has great respect for the people of Quebec.
She says she would be willing to have a dialogue with Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet on the experience of dealing with systemic racism.
She says she would extend her hand in friendship to Blanchet to talk more about the issue.
Paul was speaking in a post-debate press conference after Blanchet levelled criticism against debate moderator, Shachi Kurl, for unfairly criticizing Quebec in how she framed questions.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he would co-operate with other parties in a minority government for the good of all Canadians.
Singh was responding to a report that Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet would rule out propping up a Liberal or Conservative minority government for any length of time in the House of Commons.
In a post-debate news conference, Singh rejected suggestions that his climate change plan is too vague, saying his plan will take bold steps to tackle the problem.
He was also forced on the defensive with questions about why he put forth a platform that is not fully costed for Canadian voters to evaluate.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said a distinction has to be made between “mobs” of anti-vaxxers who have dogged his campaign and Canadians who have legitimate concerns about being vaccinated against COVID-19.
But he reiterated his position that widespread vaccine uptake is key to emerging from the pandemic, in a post-debate press conference.
Trudeau was pressed to defend his decision to call an election during the Afghanistan crisis.
Trudeau reiterated his view that the Canada’s military and diplomats managed to get 3,700 people out of Afghanistan and noted the evacuation of 43 more people out of Kabul with the help of Qatar that was disclosed today.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet levelled criticism against debate moderator, Shachi Kurl, saying she unfairly criticized Quebec in how she framed questions.
Kurl had referred to the Quebec law that bans some public sector workers such as teachers and police officers from wearing religious symbols on the job, as discriminatory.
Blanchet said horrible and rude accusations were made against his province in the preface of questions that suggested the province was racist or intolerant.
Blanchet said Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau could have shown more support for Quebec during the debate instead of standing idly by.
He said the debate was set up to prevent a discussion of issues of relevant to Quebec.
The federal leaders are taking questions after the conclusion of the English-language debate.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole dodged a question about how many of his candidates have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
He also there should be greater emphasis on rapid testing to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
O’Toole reiterated that it was a failure of leadership for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to call an election with Afghanistan falling, and Canadians still in peril in the country.
He said he wants to collaborate with the provinces more closely and eschew an Ottawa-knows-best approach as the country tries to emerge from the pandemic.
The federal leaders ended the English debate by arguing over their plans to help Canada recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole challenged Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to balance the federal budget after promising tens of billions in new spending.
Trudeau said Canada’s economy can’t recover from the pandemic if people don’t have the support they need to get through it.
The federal leaders sparred over Indigenous reconciliation with Annamie Paul saying the issue should not be treated like a buffet.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh accused Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau of “taking a knee’,’ as he did at an anti-racism rally on Parliament Hill last year, while taking Indigenous kids to court.
Singh was referring to Ottawa’s controversial legal challenge of a pair of rulings involving First Nations children.
Trudeau shot back, saying cynicism is harming reconciliation efforts, and that his government has made progress by getting more Indigenous kids into quality schools and lifting more than 100 boil-water advisories.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he would like to see the Canadian flag raised again on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, with a commitment to “move forward” on the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Canadian flag has remained at half-mast on the Peace Tower and other federal buildings since late spring to mark the finding of unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools.
O’Toole has previously said Canadians “should be proud to put our flag back up.”
Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh had a heated exchange about their party’s climate change policies.
Trudeau said the NDP’s climate change policy rates an F while saying that experts have given the Liberal plan high marks.
Singh accused Trudeau of presiding over the worst record on fighting climate change in the G7 during his six years in power.
Annamie Paul said Canada could become a renewable energy superpower, and all parties need to work together to combat the shared threat.
Foreign policy has been injected into the English leaders’ debate with questions about the fall of Afghanistan and the ongoing imprisonment of Canadians Michael ovrig and Michael Spavor in China igniting sparring among the leaders.
Erin O’Toole, Jagmeet Singh, Annamie Paul and Yves-Francois Blanchet piled on Justin Trudeau for calling an election while Afghanistan was falling to the Taliban.
Trudeau shot back at his opponents for talking down the work by the military and diplomats to get 3,700 people out of Afghanistan, and 43 more with the help of Qatar earlier today.
Trudeau also said his government is doing everything it can to get Kovrig and Spavor out of China, but that work can’t be done by lobbing tomatoes at the People’s Republic.
The debate kicks off with a discussion about leadership and accountability as the debate’s moderator, Shachi Kurl, asks all five leaders different and challenging questions that put all of them on the defensive.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh deflected a question about his party platform, while Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau talked past a question about his decision to call an election during the pandemic.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet shot back at a suggestion that his party backs discriminatory laws against minorities.
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is asked whether she can lead a country when she has such internal strife in her party and says she has crawled over a lot of broken glass to get to debate night.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he is a pro-choice ally of LGBTQ people when about his party members’ differing stances on those issues as well as climate change and vaccination.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has arrived at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., in a blue minivan.
He stopped to talk to reporters about the need to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Singh says all leaders agree that getting vaccinated is one of the most important things they can do to fight the pandemic and keep people safe.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet is already inside the museum, having entered through another door.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has arrived at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., in a black SUV, surrounded by RCMP vehicles.
A supporter of the People’s Party of Canada screamed into a
megaphone: “You’re not my prime minister.”
Trudeau, wearing a red tie, waved to journalists but did not come to speak to them.
A protester says through a megaphone: “Quebecers are sick of you.”
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has arrived at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., for tonight’s debate.
O’Toole stepped out of a black SUV and flashed a thumbs-up, replying “good” when someone asked him how he feels.
O’Toole carried on into the museum without answering questions, as he did on Wednesday before the French-language debate.
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul has arrived at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., for tonight’s debate.
Paul didn’t answer a question about whether she needs a good night to save her leadership, saying she is focused on the debate.
She says she felt the need to jump into Wednesday’s French-language debate when child care was being discussed because she was the only woman on stage and that’s an issue that impacts women.
The other leaders have yet to arrive.
A group of People’s Party of Canada supporters have gathered on the street outside the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., across from Parliament Hill, where tonight’s debate is being held.
Dressed in purple, they are holding signs with slogans supporting Maxime Bernier, the party’s leader, while others have anti-Justin Trudeau slogans.
A speaker at a microphone is calling out the names of local candidates.
The sun is setting and the leaders have not yet arrived at the museum for the debate, which is set to begin at 9 p.m.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.