Everything you need to know about the 2019 federal leaders’ debates

Click to play video: 'French Leaders’ Debate 2019: Full'
French Leaders’ Debate 2019: Full
French Leaders' Debate 2019: Full – Oct 10, 2019


The English debate took place on Oct. 7 in the following languages and formats:

Click to play video: 'Federal Leaders’ Debate 2019: Full'
Federal Leaders’ Debate 2019: Full

The debates were broadcast live on Global TV and streamed on, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.


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Described video

Closed Captioning

LSQ (Quebec sign language)

ASL (American sign language)


Plains Cree – also available on APTN West television

Inuktitut – also available on APTN North television







The English debate was broadcast live CBC Radio One and the Global News Radio Network

This data illustration features the 150 words that came up the most in questions submitted by Canadians for the English leaders’ debate. CDPP

Themes for the English debate: 

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  • Affordability and economic insecurity
  • National and global leadership
  • Indigenous issues
  • Polarization, human rights and immigration
  • Environment and energy

French debate, Oct. 10

As with the English debate, the French debate were held in front of a non-partisan live audience at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., overlooking Parliament Hill. The French language debate was available in the following languages and formats:

Themes for the French debate:

  • Economy and finances
  • Environment and energy
  • Foreign policy and immigration
  • Identity, ethics and governance
  • Services to citizens

The leaders were asked questions submitted by Canadians as well as from the journalists moderating the debates.

We acknowledge the support of interpreters in sign languages, official languages and Indigenous languages, for services provided through the Translation Bureau and Public Services and Procurement Canada. 


The leaders’ parties had to meet two out of three requirements set by the federal Leaders’ Debates Commission:

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1) Representation in the current House of Commons by a member who was elected under that party’s banner

2) A determination that the party intends to run candidates in at least 90 per cent of electoral districts

3) The party’s candidates received at least four per cent of valid votes in the last election, or have a “legitimate chance” of winning seats, based on polling data and at the discretion of the debates commissioner. 

All participation order in the debates will be decided by draw to ensure fairness.


The moderators come from each of the media organizations in the Canadian Debate Production Partnership, and have deep experience in news or politics coverage. 

From left to right: Susan Delacourt, Dawna Friesen, Althia Raj, Lisa LaFlamme and Rosemary Barton. CDPP

In the English debate, distinct sections of the two-hour event were guided by the moderators:

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The French debate was moderated by Patrice Roy from Radio-Canada with the participation of: 

From left to right: Alec Castonguay, Patricia Cloutier, Patrice Roy, Hélène Buzzetti, François Cardinal. CDPP

How the debate producer was chosen

In 2018, the government announced plans to set up an independent commission to standardize a transparent process of organizing the leaders’ debates. 

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The mandate of the resulting Leaders’ Debate Commission, led by former governor general David Johnston, is to make the debates a more reliable and stable element of federal election campaigns, and to ensure the debates are as accessible as possible on a variety of platforms. 

In May, the commission issued a request for proposal, seeking bidders to produce the English and French debates. Nine media outlets came together to form the Canadian Debate Production Partnership and won the contract to produce the two events. 

The Canadian Debate Production Partnership is comprised of: 

These are the additional distribution partners: 

The English-language official leaders’ debate on Oct. 7 will be divided into these five themed blocks. Canadian Debate Production Partnership

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