All major federal party leaders were invited to participate in two debates, one in English and the other in French, for the upcoming federal election.
Prime Minister and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party leader Elizabeth May, and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-François Blanchet were all invited. They all accepted invites to both debates.
According to HuffPost Canada, the English debate will be held on October 7th and will be hosted by:
- Althia Raj from HuffPost Canada
- Susan Delacourt from the Toronto Star
- Rosemary Barton from CBC News
- Dawna Friesen from Global News
- Lisa LaFlamme from CTV News
The English debate panel is an all-woman one.
The French event on October 10th will be moderated by Patrice Roy from Radio-Canada, and feature journalists from Le Devoir, Le Soleil, La Presse and L’Actualité.
This year’s debates will be held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.
It is a “meaningful and beautiful space” to hold the debates, said Jennifer McGuire of the CDPP, because the museum’s purpose is to “enhance Canadians’ knowledge and understanding of the events, experiences, people and objects that shape Canada’s identity.”
However, it seems as though the debate lineup has not been completely finalized; Maxime Bernier of the PPC has started an online petition to get him on the debate stage too.
David Johnston, former governor-general and current commissioner of the Leaders’ Debates Commission, told Bernier he wouldn’t be invited because the party does not have an MP who was elected under the PPC banner.
Bernier was elected as a Conservative and split from the party to form his own People’s Party.
“It won’t be a real debate if I’m not there,” Bernier told supporters Sunday. “It will be a phoney discussion where they attack each other on their superficial differences.”
Johnston’s ruling is not finalized. In fact, he has asked the PPC to identify three to five ridings where it thinks it can win.
Bernier, however, has said that his party doesn’t poll and he has no intention of providing Johnston with such a list before week’s end.