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Some of the key exchanges in Thursday's federal leaders' debate

TORONTO — A look at some of the key exchanges in the first part of Thursday's federal leaders' debate:

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau dismissed the Conservative government's economic plan as a failure and accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of being out of touch.

"You have completely become disconnected from the reality that people are facing right across this country," Trudeau said.

He said New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair's plan for a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage is "false advertising."

"The only risk right now would be sticking with what has been a failed plan for 10 years."

Harper countered by saying both Mulcair and Trudeau propose reckless spending.

"The other parties are proposing literally tens of billions of dollars of additional spending, permanent spending to be financed by permanently higher tax rates and permanent deficits," Harper said.

Mulcair said the Tories and Liberals want to pander to wealthy corporations.

"We have a plan to invest in the middle class and to create new jobs," he said. "We want to invest in infrastructure, we want to give a break to small and medium-size corporations. Mr. Harper and Mr. Trudeau agree that tens of billions to the wealthiest corporations is the way to go.

"We sincerely disagree."

Harper said most of the economy is growing, despite low prices that have hobbled the energy sector.

"Our view is you know we're going to have growth this year, we're going to have growth going forward," he said.

"The way you deal with this is by sticking with a plan that is working — low tax, prudent plan that is working, rather than go to a plan of high taxes and high debt and high deficit which is failing everywhere else."

Green party Leader Elizabeth May took her own swing at Harper:

"I don't really think he's got a good track record of spotting when this country is in a recession. We're in a recession now. We have a weak and shrinking economy and it's the wrong time for austerity measures."

The Canadian Press

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