As the leaders of the five major parties — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole, New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and Green Party Leader Annamie Paul — gear up to lock horns in two official debates ahead of the Sept. 20 federal election, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming debates in English and French language.
When to watch
The debate in English will air on Sept. 9 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET and the French-language debate will air the previous day — Sept. 8 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.
The topics for the French-language debate, announced Sept. 5, included climate, cost of living and public finances, Indigenous peoples and cultural identity, justice and foreign policy, and health care and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The English-language debate topics, announced Sept. 6, are affordability, climate, reconciliation, leadership and accountability, and COVID recovery.
How to watch
Both events will be held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. Global News will provide live coverage of the English-language debate on the Global News site, on our National 24/7 news stream, on the Global TV app, on YouTube, and on Facebook.
The two-hour-long debates will also be translated simultaneously.
The English debate will be streamed in English, with further translation available in French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Punjabi, Plains Cree, Inuktitut, Dene, Tagalog, American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language at the debate commission’s website.
For the French-language debate, Global will be streaming live in French, as well as providing a separate English translation. Further translations will be available in East Cree, Ojibwe and described video, in addition to the languages noted above, with the exception of Plains Cree, Inuktitut and Dene, at the debate commission’s website.
Know the participants
The participants for both the English and French-language debates include Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet.
Maxime Bernier, People’s Party of Canada Leader, will not be participating in these debates as the party did not meet the criteria for qualification.
The English debate will be moderated by Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute. Mercedes Stephenson of Global News; Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period and Power Play; Rosemary Barton, CBC chief political correspondent; and Melissa Ridgen of APTN News will also be joining in.
Radio-Canada’s Patrice Roy will moderate the French-language debate and will be joined by Noémi Mercier of Noovo Info, Helene Buzzetti of Les coops de l’information, Guillaume Bourgault-Côté of L’actualité, Paul Journet of La Presse and Le Devoir’s Marie Vastel.
Canada election 2021
This year, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau’s primary competitor is Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole. However, the answer to which party will eventually form the next government depends on individual races for 338 House of Commons seats from across the country.
Trudeau formally launched the campaign on Aug. 15 after his meeting with Governor General Mary Simon, the personal representative of head of state Queen Elizabeth II, when he asked for Parliament to be dissolved. Simon agreed to the request, making way for the ruling Liberals to push for a vote two years ahead of schedule.
Right now, Justin Trudeau only has a minority government and relies on opposition parties to push through legislation.