Here’s our daily look at what’s happening on the federal campaign trail.
- The first official English-language debate took place in Gatineau last night. The leaders of the six major federal parties sparred over climate change, pipelines, Quebec’s Bill 21, and SNC-Lavalin, among other issues.
- The National Observer fact-checked some of the claims, including Maxime Bernier’s statement that the People’s Party of Canada is the “only real environmental party.” He went on to contradict himself almost immediately, responding to a challenge from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau by saying that they’d have to agree to disagree on climate change. He told reporters after the debate that flooding in Ontario and Quebec was a matter of “weather,” not climate.
- Last night’s debate did include a section on Indigenous rights. However, Green party leader Elizabeth May later described it as fractured, as all leaders used the time to talk about different issues. “Other than the Greens, Liberals and NDP saying they would implement United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the Conservatives and People’s Party of Canada saying they wouldn’t, the answers were vague due to a format that didn’t allow time for in depth, thoughtful responses,” wrote Kathleen Martens of Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.
- Canadaland also reported that APTN had lobbied to have one of their journalists included in the moderator panel, but that, instead, the Canadian Debate Production Partnership had invited an APTN reporter to act as human “mic stand.”
- In the hours before the debate, right-wing news outlets Rebel Media and the True North Centre for Public Policy successfully challenged the Leaders’ Debates Commission’s decision to deny them accreditation. “Lawyers for the commission opposed the organizations’ motions, saying their client acted within its mandate to uphold the high journalistic integrity of the debate,” wrote the Canadian Press’s Paola Loriggio.
- The Toronto Star explains how Renata Ford, widow of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, helped Bernier get into the leaders’ debate last night. “It was only last month that Bernier was controversially invited to both official debates. That came after the commission running them found his party has a ‘legitimate’ chance to elect another MP — among the hopefuls with a chance: Renata Ford,” the Star’s Ed Tubb writes, although he also notes that “Ford’s odds to win the diverse Toronto riding of Etobicoke North appear to be vanishingly slim.”
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What to watch for
- NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will be in Toronto, where he will make an announcement at Dine Alone Records on the NDP's commitment to make life more affordable for young Canadians. Later, he’ll have a media availability near Ryerson University.
- Conservative leader Andrew Scheer will be in Markham, where he’ll make an announcement in the morning. Later in the day, he’ll attend a campain event in Mississauga.
- May will be in Montreal and Longueuil, where she’ll have a number of campaign events and make an announcement in the afternoon.
- Trudeau will be in Iqaluit, where he’ll meet with Indigenous elders and Liberal candidate Megan Pizzo-Lyall and discuss climate-change mitigation.