NEWS
08/05/2015 18:55 EDT | Updated 08/05/2016 01:12 EDT

A selection of just what was said Wednesday in the federal election campaign

OTTAWA — Here are some quotes from the election campaign on Wednesday, as the leaders stepped back to prepare for Thursday's first debate:

"I know that lots of people are groaning, but the people that love politics are happy." Laureen Harper, standing in for her husband, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, talking to supporters about an election campaign that's the longest since 1872.

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"The government's books are in the red for this fiscal year to the extent of about $1 billion." Liberal candidate and former finance minister Ralph Goodale predicting the federal books will start out in the red regardless of who forms government after Oct. 19, despite Tory claims of a balanced budget.

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"I don't understand the Conservative strategy. Maybe they think their ads will be the path to victory and they don't need debates. They're having debates in basically invisible places." Barry Kay, political science professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, on the Tory decision to back away from traditional, big-broadcaster debates.

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"I'm doing the same thing to prepare that I did in 2008, which was the only other time I was ever included in the national televised leaders' debate. Of course, this isn't that debate." Green party Leader Elizabeth May, describing her preparation for Thursday night's leaders' debate.

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"I think the question is whether in the debate, he can come across in the ... prime ministerial sense, given that now that's a real possibility for him." Debate coach Shakir Rahim, two-time winner of the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship.

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The Canadian Press