CPC leadership debate marked by heated clashes between O'Toole and MacKay

The French-language Conservative leadership debate was marked by bitter clashes between Erin O'Toole and Peter MacKay on Wednesday.
Nico Johnson Montreal, QC

The French-language Conservative leadership debate was marked by bitter clashes between Erin O'Toole and Peter MacKay on Wednesday.

Even in the opening statements, O'Toole criticized MacKay's record as defence minister, bringing up the fact that that he failed to order proper equipment for Canada's armed forces.

After MacKay responded to this point, O'Toole attacked MacKay again, saying he failed to answer the question.

The debate itself was, obviously, largely Quebec-centric. Despite this, both Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan had noticeably poor french, with Lewis hardly looking up from her lectern throughout the debate.  

Slogging through the language barrier, Sloan managed to push through with his message: saying that he wants to scrap the Paris accord and that he is the only candidate to do so.

Due to the debates strict 60 second to two minute response time, not much policy issues were discussed. Nevertheless, both MacKay and O'Toole still found time to attack each other.

MacKay, for instance, said that O'Toole supports a carbon tax; O'Toole responded calling him a liar.

"I am disappointed you attacked me," said MacKay attacking O'Toole. The narrator helped along with the drama, raising her voice accordingly.

Later on in the debate, MacKay suggested that O'Toole would build a pipeline across Quebec without consulting the province. O'Toole responded again by saying "that's a lie."

Another noteworthy moment of the debate was when MacKay attacked Jason Kenney, even alluding to the fact that O'Toole was being influenced by the Albertan premier.  

MacKay also called out O'Toole for his supposed "flip-flopping," saying he says one thing in French and another in English. "We’re looking at Erin Trudeau," said MacKay.

O'Toole then went after MacKay again, saying he is "the candidate who called are members albatrosses."

"You’re an angry man, Mr. O’Toole," said MacKay. "You’re always angry. The same thing goes for your friend Mr. Kenney."

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