Here’s our daily look at what’s happening on the federal campaign trail.
- Last night, the leaders once again gathered in Gatineau, Quebec — this time, for the French-language debate. The CBC broke down six key moments. Both Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer took on Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet, who has gotten a boost in Quebec polls in the last few days. There was also plenty of discussion of Bill 21, which bans many public-service employees from wearing religious symbols. Blanchet accused NDP leader Jagmeet Singh of having said different things at the French and English debates. “On Monday, in English,” CBC reporter John Paul Tasker explains, “Singh said he'd consider joining a fight against the bill if the legal case makes it to the Supreme Court of Canada. Singh was more definitive Thursday that the NDP would stay on the sidelines.”
- Southern Ontario has gotten a lot of attention from most of the major party leaders during the election campaign. A new iPolitics analysis has found that, over the last 30 days, Trudeau, Scheer, and Singh have spent more than 50 per cent of their time in the province, while Green leader Elizabeth May has spent most of her time in British Columbia. “Ontario has been a key theme in the Liberal campaign’s messaging this fall,” writes iPolitics reporter Victoria Gibson. “Trudeau has been hammering against Ontario Premier Doug Ford at announcements and appearances, using the provincial leader’s government as a foil to allege that Scheer would make cuts to services, if his Conservative Party forms government after the Oct. 21 vote.” Other parts of the country haven’t received nearly the same amount of attention — Trudeau is, so far, the only leader to have visited northern Canada.
- The election isn’t even over yet, and Conservatives are already rumoured to be talking about who might become the next leader of their party. The Globe and Mail reports that supporters of Peter MacKay, a former cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s government, are laying the groundwork for a leadership campaign in the event that Scheer loses on October 21. “Mr. Scheer would face an automatic leadership review in 2020 and senior players in the Conservative Party, to whom The Globe has granted confidentiality to speak about sensitive matters, say he would have difficulty holding on to the top job if he can’t lead the party to victory at a time when many loyalists believe Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is electorally vulnerable,” write Globe reporters Robert Fife and Janice Dickson.
- Rumours have also been circulating about Trudeau since a story that he left a teaching job due to a sex scandal began picking up steam online. Earlier this week, Canadaland refuted the story, noting that sources within the Globe and Mail had confirmed that reporters had looked into Trudeau’s time teaching at West Point Grey Academy and found no evidence of the rumoured affair. “Because the fake story appears to originate inside Canada rather than from a foreign power, the federal government’s anti-election-meddling panel — which hasn’t spoken publicly about the rumour — is unlikely to tackle it, experts consulted by National Observer said,” writes National Observer reporter Emma McIntosh.
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What to watch for
- The Conservative party will be releasing its costed platform today. Scheer will be in Tsawwassen, B.C., to make the announcement. Later, he’ll travel to Langley for an event.
- Singh will hold a technical briefing and media availability on his New Deal for People Fiscal Plan in Ottawa this morning. Then he’ll head to Montreal to visit local businesses and to Brampton, where he’ll have a media availability.
- Trudeau will start his day in Ottawa before travelling to Surrey, B.C., where he’ll talk about his plan to make education more affordable. He’ll then head to Port Coquitlam and Burnaby.
- May will make an announcement in Ottawa about foreign affairs and security. Then she’ll travel to New Brunswick, where she’ll visit a flood zone in Maugerville and attend a rally in Sackville.