POLITICS
09/09/2019 11:58 EDT | Updated 3 hours ago

Everything You Need To Know About The 2019 Federal Leaders' Debates

Send us your questions for the leaders.

Social media posts. News conferences and statements. Door to door. Rallies. Text messages. Lawn signs. 

Canadian voters may be inundated with information these days, but hearing directly from federal party leaders remains a vital way to make an informed election choice. As the Leaders’ Debates Commission states, debates “give you a chance to see the character, temperament, and unscripted approaches of leaders seeking to be Canada’s prime minister.”

Here’s how you can watch, listen, and engage with the two official leaders’ debates in the 2019 election campaign. This page will be updated regularly with new information and links to debate streams.

What’s your question for the leaders’ debate? 

You may have a chance to ask them yourself during the live events. Click here to submit a question.

Canadian Press
From left to right: Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, Jagmeet Singh, Yves-François Blanchet, Elizabeth May, Maxime Bernier.

When

  • English debate - Monday Oct. 7, 2019, 7-9 p.m. ET.
  • French debate - Thursday Oct. 10, 2019, 8-10 p.m. ET.

Where:

The Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. in front of a live audience.

How you can experience the debates: 

The 2019 official debates are produced by the Canadian Debate Production Partnership, which is made up of: 

You’ll be able to access the debate on TV, radio, digital and social platforms run by the partnership, as well as through our distribution partners: 

To reach the broadest cross-section of Canadians, the debates will also be simultaneously translated and available in: 

  • Cree
  • Inuktitut
  • Ojibway
  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • Italian
  • Mandarin
  • Punjabi
  • ASL
  • LSQ
  • Closed captioning
  • Described video.
Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
The debates will unfold live at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., seen here on June 21, 2016. 

Who:

The party leaders invited to the debates have all confirmed their participation:

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

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.

Moderators

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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