Topics for federal leaders' debates revealed
TORONTO -- Leaders of the six major federal parties will cover a wide variety of topics over two days in October in a new debate format designed to encourage open discussion.
The Canadian Debate Production Partnership, which includes CTV News, announced its plans for the debates at a press conference on Monday.
The English-language debate takes place Oct. 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EDT. The French-language debate takes place Oct. 10 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.
Topics to be addressed at the English-language debate include affordability and economic insecurity; environment and energy; Indigenous issues; leadership in Canada and on the global stage; and polarization, human rights and immigration.
The French-language debate will cover economy and finance; environment and energy; identity; ethics and governance; foreign policy and immigration; and services to citizens.
The exact order of the subjects will be revealed to the parties three days before each debate.
Each subject will be given a segment of approximately 20 minutes, although the format of the segments will vary between the two debates.
On Oct. 7, party leaders will be given one question submitted by a Canadian and another from the journalist who is moderating that segment. One leader will then be given a chance to question another leader, after which a more open debate will take place.
Moderators of the English debate will include CTV News’ Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme, as well as Rosemary Barton of the CBC, Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star, Dawna Friesen of Global News and Althia Raj of HuffPost Canada.
Three days later, each subject at the French-language debate will be covered by a question from a Canadian, two mini-debates with the leaders divided into groups of three, quick questions from a journalist and a final open debate involving all six leaders.
Representatives from each party were on-hand Monday to draw podium positions for the debates. The English debate will see Green Party Leader Elizabeth May at one side of the stage, followed by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier, Bloc Quebec Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
The draw to determine positions for the French-language debate was called off partway through due to a medical emergency in the audience.
Both debates will take place in front of non-partisan live audiences in Gatineau, Que. Canadians interested in being in attendance can apply for tickets online.
The debates will be available on TV, radio and online platforms across the country in English, French, Italian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Punjabi, Plains Cree, Inuktitut, Eastern Cree, Ojibway, American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language.