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Politics

Televised federal election debates to be held in early October, without Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left to right, NDP Leader Jack Layton, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe exchange handshakes as they arrive to the English language federal election debate in Ottawa Ont., on Tuesday, April 12, 2011. .
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left to right, NDP Leader Jack Layton, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe exchange handshakes as they arrive to the English language federal election debate in Ottawa Ont., on Tuesday, April 12, 2011. . Adrian Wyle/The Canadian Press

The 2015 election leaders’ debates will be held in early October, though not every leader will be there.

A consortium of Canadian broadcasters, including CBC, CTV, Global News, Radio-Canada and Télé-Québec will host a French-language debate on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 8-10 p.m. Eastern Time, and an English debate on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. ET. The debates will be broadcast across all media platforms with closed captioning and simultaneous translation.

The English debate will include the NDP, Liberal Party and Green Party, but neither the Conservatives nor the Bloc Québécois will participate. All parties except the Conservatives will participate in the French debate.

“While disagreeing with its exclusion from the English debate, the Bloc Québécois has committed to participate in the French language debate. With the Bloc Québécois’ participation in the French debate, the networks allocated an additional 30 minutes,” read a news release from the broadcast consortium.

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“As the negotiations with the invited parties continue, the broadcasters maintain their invitation to the Conservative Party of Canada to participate in the televised debates.”

The Conservatives have rejected the broadcasters’ offer so far, opting instead to participate in planned debates hosted by Macleans, TVA, and the Globe and Mail/Google, as well as accepting an invitation from the Munk Debates about foreign policy.