Announcer: Exactly two weeks from tonight,
Canadians will decide who to invite or invite back
to this place --
Parliament Hill, The House of Commons.
For 27 days, the six main party leaders have been travelling
the country, making pitches and promises.
Tonight, they will defend and deconstruct their ideas live.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.
NDP's Jagmeet Singh.
Elizabeth May of the Green Party.
Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet.
And Maxime Bernier of the People's Party.
Their goal: to convince you to give their party your vote.
The moderators are five of the country's most respected
The setting is one of Canada's most remarkable institutions,
the Museum of History in Gatineau, Québec.
This is the debate. Here are your leaders.
Lisa LaFlamme: Welcome to the 2019 Leaders' Debate .
I'm Lisa LaFlamme from CTV News,
and I am one of the moderators tonight.
Our audience is made up mostly of undecided voters,
gathered here in the round,
so they're right at the heart of this important night.
One note, however, we have asked them
to hold back their applause throughout the debate
so we can keep things moving.
And just a couple more things to note
before we get started.
We're going to tackle five major themes tonight
based on the questions Canadian voters want
asked and debated.
There were more than eight thousand.
So the themes tonight reflect those questions.
The leaders will answer them based on an order
selected in a random draw.
We all want a meaningful debate tonight.
Viewers want answers so the leaders have all agreed
to respect the time they are allowed tonight.
And, believe me, we will all make sure they do.
Our first theme is leadership in Canada and the world,
and our first question is from Reagan Li,
right here in the audience. Reagan.
Good evening, leaders.
Many Canadians have felt the implications of a divided world
more so than 2015, from U.S. Protectionism, to Brexit,
to our growing tensions with China.
As Prime Minister, how would you effectively defend
both the interests and values of Canadians on the world stage?
Lisa: Reagan, thank you for that.
Mr. Trudeau, you are first to respond tonight.
You have 45 seconds.
Mr. Trudeau: Thank you, Reagan, for being here tonight
and thank you, all, for joining us in this important moment
to talk about the future of our country
and compare and contrast the various plans that we have.
We know we live in a very challenging time right now.
From protectionism to fear-based politics,
to the transformative technological change
people are facing.
We need to make sure that Canadians are equipped and
tooled to be able to succeed in an uncertain world.
And that's why over the past four years, we've invested
directly in Canadians.
Helped people be optimistic about their future,
have the tools to succeed, and the tools to see
their kids succeed.
We know the environment is a massive and pressing challenge,
and building a stronger economy for the future means protecting
the environment for the future as well.
These are the things we're going to be talking about tonight.
Lisa: Mr. Trudeau, thank you for that.
Mr. Bernier, your opportunity to respond.
Maxime Bernier: Thank you.
We are the People's Party, and we put Canada first.
The other leaders on this stage are global leaders.
They spend your money to buy a seat at U.N. Security Council
and also they are giving your money to other countries
to fight climate change in Asia and build
roads in Africa.
The U.N. is a dysfunctional organization,
and we must be able to fight for our country.
Actually, we are the only party that will have
foreign policies that is based on our security
and prosperity for our country.
Lisa: Mr. Bernier, thank you.
The next opportunity for Mr. Singh to respond.
Mr. Singh: Thank you very much, Reagan, for your question.
I know it's tough to ask questions
in front of a big crowd, so thanks for doing that.
Thanks to Canada for joining and taking part in this discussion.
To me, leadership is about who you're fighting for,
the choices you make.
and whether you're doing what is right for people.
And whether it comes to international affairs,
standing up to Trump, making sure we fight to build
better trade agreements that actually put Canadians first.
For me, the question really comes down to,
do you have the courage to stand up to the powerful
and wealthy interests, the corporations that are having
too much influence over Canada? And I've seen so far in Ottawa,
whether it's Liberal or Conservative governments,
they haven't had the courage to stand up
and fight for people.
We're different. We're in it for you.
I don't work for the rich and powerful, I work for the people.
Lisa: Mr. Singh, thank you.
Mr. Scheer, your opportunity to respond.
Mr. Scheer: Thank you very much.
And, of course, I will always stand up for Canada
and Canadians' interests and promote free trade
and defend our interests all around the world,
but Justin Trudeau only pretends to stand up for Canada.
He's very good at pretending things.
He can't even remember how many times he put blackface on
because the fact of the matter is he's always wearing a mask.
He puts on a reconciliation mask and then fires
the Attorney General,
the first one of Indigenous background.
He puts on a feminist mask, and then fires two strong
female MPs for not going along with his corruption.
He puts on a middle-class mask and then raises taxes
on middle-class Canadians.
Mr. Trudeau, you're a phoney, and a you're fraud
and you do not deserve to govern this country.
Lisa: There will be an opportunity later during the
open debate to defend each other.
First of all, Ms. May, if you'd like to
answer Reagan's question.
Ms. May: I would actually like to answer Reagan's question,
in contrast to what we just heard.
But I want to start by acknowledging that we're on
the traditional territory of the Algonquin people.
So to them, miigwech.
Canada's role in the world is an amiable one.
We have a historic reputation for being an honest broker.
For being a country that stands up for multilateralism.
We have a commitment as a nation to meet the
sustainable development goals.
Which means our future as a world is built on ending
poverty and encouraging the education of women and girls.
That's a cornerstone.
On top that, we really need to renegotiate the World Trade
Organization and make it an organization that
promotes climate action.
We need a World Trade and Climate Organization.
We need to support the rule of law and human rights
around the world because we are world leaders.
Lisa: Ms. May, thank you.
Again, the question, how would you
as prime minister protect Canadian interests and values
on this changing world stage?
Mr. Blanchet: Prime Minister is a bit unlikely,
however, first, good evening, everybody,
and thank you for having me on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois.
Having leadership or showing leadership sometimes mean
not making mistakes.
Arresting the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei might have
been a big mistake for which farmers, or those who import
our beef, might have paid the price.
When you're facing powerful folk like China,
you don't try to show biceps if you have only tiny biceps.
And this is something that has to be learned.
And we would support somebody with real leadership,
not making mistakes.
Lisa: Mr. Blanchet, thank you for that.
Continuing with our theme leadership in Canada
and the world, it's now my opportunity to ask a question
on behalf of Canadians.
Again, to a leader chosen by a random draw.
So this question is for People's Party leader Maxime Bernier.
Every other leader will then have the opportunity
to debate him, but Mr. Bernier, you like
to tweet, so let me read some of your tweets back to you.
You called diversity in Canada 'a cult and
You've used the words 'ghetto' and 'tribes'
to describe newcomers whom you say bring distrust
and potential violence.
On Greta Thunberg,
the 16-year-old climate change activist,
you've called her "clearly mentally unstable."
Are these the words of someone with the character and integrity
to lead all Canadians and represent us
on the world stage?
Mr. Bernier: To your question,
you must tell the truth to Canadians
if you want to be the leader of this country.
And what I'm saying about extreme multiculturalism,
it is not the way to build this country.
Yes, this country is a diverse country, and we must be
proud of that.
But we don't need a legislation like the Multiculturalism Act
to tell us who we are.
We are a diverse country, and we are proud of that.
What I'm saying because it's in line with the immigration,
I'm saying we must have fewer immigrants in this country
to be sure for these people to participate in our society.
So it is a great country, but it's time to have a discussion
about the immigration.
We don't want our country to be like other countries
in Europe, where they have huge difficulty
to integrate their immigrants.
And I'm a proud Canadian, and that's why I love
this country and I'm the only leader on this stage
who wants to have a discussion about the level of immigration.
Lisa: So we're definitely going to have a lively debate tonight
because now it is Mr. Singh's opportunity to debate
Mr. Bernier on that very question,
the temperament required for a good leader.
Mr. Singh: Mr. Bernier, after hearing what was just said,
you could have said 'hey, man I messed up'.
Because those are pretty horrible tweets that you made.
And, really, for me, it should come as no surprise to you,
I believe a leader is not someone who should try
to divide people or to pit people against each other.
A true leader who tries to build bridges,
bringing people together.
That's what a leader does.
A leader works for the people who need help.
Not helping those at the top as we've seen the government
in Ottawa doing far too long.
They've been working to make life easier for the
They give massive corporate tax cuts.
Billions of dollars go towards them.
We see offshore tax havens continue.
This is not the way to build a country.
The way to build a future is --
Mr. Bernier: You won't be able to help Canadians
with your Socialist policy. It will hurt everybody.
Mr. Singh: What you're going to do is not going
to help anybody.
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Mr. Bernier: You must believe in people.
Mr. Singh: What you're saying is not helpful.
Lisa: I'm just going to remind everyone,
this is a debate and the viewers do have a difficult
time even hearing anything if you're talking
over each other.
So this is a portion where the leaders can
debate Mr. Bernier, and it is now the opportunity of
Mr. Scheer to debate Mr. Bernier on the question of leadership.
Mr. Scheer: What Mr. Bernier fails to understand is that
you can absolutely be proud of Canada's history,
you can be proud of our identity, you can be proud
of the things we've done and accomplished in the world
while at the same time welcoming people
from all around the world.
That is something that has made Canada strong.
People come to Canada because of our freedom.
Our freedom to --
Mr. Bernier: You're right.
That's why I want people to share the Canadian values.
Equality between men and woman, separation of state, and --
Mr. Scheer: Mr. Bernier, you have changed from someone
who used to believe --
Mr. Bernier: Like they did in the past --
Lisa: We'll let Mr. Scheer answer the question.
Mr. Scheer: -- who used to believe in an immigration
system that was fair, orderly and compassionate, and now
you are making your policy based on trying to get likes
and re-tweets from the darkest parts of Twitter.
We can be a country that celebrates contribution
of people from all around the world.
Mr. Bernier: I want to celebrate what unites us.
Mr. Scheer: You can do that.
You can do that without insulting people
who have come to this country.
That is the difference between Mr. Bernier and myself
on this issue.
We believe, we believe in making Canada stronger
by welcoming people, adding it to our country
and celebrating the things that have made us great as a nation.
Lisa: Now we're going to hear from Ms. May and Mr. Bernier
on the same question.
Ms. May: I understand the question, Lisa.
It was also about the characteristics of leadership.
Let me just say up front, I think leadership is service.
I think the things that make a good prime minister is
recognizing that we're public servants.
We haven't won some kind of lotto.
We don't get to lord it over everybody.
We're here as your employee, and we want to work.
I had a little quibble with our introduction tonight saying
saying 'who will get invited back'?
It's not to be invited to go to Parliament.
It's to sign up to work.
And to be of public service I believe in service leadership.
That said, I find the things Maxime Bernier has said
to be completely appalling.
He knows I feel that way about the things he says in the House.
We used to sit together.
And, generally, when he said anything, I'd have to put
my head in my hands because it was so horrific.
Mr. Bernier: I appreciate you, but I don't share
your Socialist policy, because we won't be able to create
any wealth with your policies.
You have the same kind of policies in Socialist countries
That won't create any wealth. You must admit that.
Ms. May: No, the climate crisis is the single biggest
economic opportunity in a generation.
Mr. Bernier: That's not responsible.
Ms. May: And supporting immigration is what
we need for this economy.
I'm proud of the fact the European Greens are the
only party that is pro-immigration, and so are we.
Lisa: Thank you, Ms. May.
Now it is Mr. Blanchet's opportunity to debate
with Mr. Bernier.
Mr. Blanchet: How many seconds will you leave me
before you jump in?
Somebody invoking the truth should not be somebody
denying climate change.
And the use of socialism seems to come
a little bit too easy.
Mr. Bernier: I don't deny --
Mr. Blanchet: Oh, 10 seconds.
Lisa: We were worried they wouldn't pay attention.
Mr. Blanchet: Immigration is not that much
a matter of number. It's a matter of resources.
We invest in it in order to have those persons
welcome as well in Canada as they are in Québec
with our desire for them to share our language,
to share some of our values.
And if we do have enough resources invested in that,
this is workable.
And you do not do it by saying or sending the message
that they are not welcome. Here in Canada or in Quebec.
Mr. Bernier: Everybody is welcome in this country.
And, you know, 49 percent of our population believe
that we must have fewer immigrants.
They are not racist. They are not radical.
So what you are saying, because I'm in line with the majority
of our population, that I'm supposed to be a radical.
No, we have the right in this country --
Mr. Blanchet: Did anybody tell you
that your ancestors were immigrants also?
We all are immigrants.
Mr. Bernier: Absolutely.
And we are proud. We are proud Canadians.
Lisa: Okay, and the final debate on this subject goes
to Mr. Trudeau to Mr. Bernier.
Again, the temperament required for the leader.
Mr. Trudeau: I think it's important to recognize
we're in a world right now where these discussions,
this polarization, this fear of the other has become
easy currency for politicians who do want to strike up
uncertainty in peoples' hearts and lift those anxieties
and try to get people to vote against things.
Unfortunately, Mr. Bernier on this stage is playing that role
of trying to make people more fearful about the migrations
that are happening in the world and the opportunities around
globalization and our ability to continue to redefine
every single day what it is to be Canadian,
what it means to be Canadian.
And, yes, it will evolve. It will transform itself
as we take leadership, as we move forward.
Mr. Bernier: You always want to celebrate --
you always want to celebrate our diversity.
We must celebrate who we are. And I'm proud Canadian like you.
And, you know, we build this country together,
and we want this country to be like that in 25 years.
We love this country and it's sad because I want to have
a discussion about immigration, that I'm radical.
Mr. Trudeau: Your role on this stage tonight seems to be
to say publicly what Mr. Scheer thinks privately.
Mr. Bernier: Only 6 percent of Canadians want more immigration.
Only 6 percent.
So when you don't want to have a debate about that,
you're not in line with the population.
Let's just have an honest debate on that subject.
Lisa: Okay, and on that, we want to hear from
another Canadian tonight.
There are obviously so many layers to the issue
So this question is coming from Susan Fernando
who asks her question from Calgary, again.
Hi, I'm Susan Fernando in Calgary.
More often than not, the provincial governments
and federal government are on different wave lengths,
no matter what the political party.
Cooperation is key when it comes to issues of pensions,
workers' rights, to education and healthcare.
As prime minister, how would you demonstrate strong leadership
when working with the provinces and territories?
Lisa: Okay, thank you, Susan Fernando from Calgary.
Again, based on a random draw, this goes to Mr. Bernier first
and then every other leader will have the chance to answer.
Mr. Bernier: First of all, I will respect the Constitution.
I will respect provinces, and that's very important.
And I won't interfere in provincial jurisdiction.
I won't interfere in healthcare because it is
a provincial jurisdiction.
And, you know, we cannot in Ottawa solve
the challenges that we're having for healthcare.
And what we can do, we can transfer the money
to the provinces and what I will do,
I will let provinces be able to deal with
healthcare and education. That's our Constitution.
We'll transfer the GST so provinces will have the
money to deal with that.
And they will be able to answer to your challenges.
Lisa: Mr. Bernier, thank you.
It's now Mr. Singh's opportunity to respond to Susan's question.
Mr. Singh: Thank you.
I want to thank Susan for the question.
Really, she's touched on a lot of concerns that Canadians have.
Things are getting harder than ever before.
And she touched on a whole host of issues --
pensions and healthcare.
I want to single in on healthcare.
To me, that's one of the biggest concerns I hear about
when I meet with people across this country.
And I think of the people that I meet, the young boy that I met
that has a chronic illness and has to pay for --
his family has to pay for medication and injections
and blood work.
But he told me he's not worried about the illness,
but he is worried about being a burden
to his mom and dad.
So that young person Mr. Trudeau is saying you're not worth
The big pharmacare companies, big pharmaceuticals are
I want to say that to young person, with a New Democratic
government will bring universal pharmacare for all.
You would use your health card, not your credit card
Lisa: Mr. Singh, thank you.
Mr. Scheer, it's your opportunity now.
Mr. Scheer: Well, Conservatives have always recognized
the importance of working with provinces.
We respect provincial jurisdiction, but we also
understand it will take federal leadership to get certain
Like inter-provincial free trade.
Something that Mr. Trudeau has failed to accomplish.
But one thing I can promise voters across the country is
that premiers won't have to take a Conservative government
to court to fight things like the carbon tax.
And Mr. Trudeau has imposed his carbon tax on provinces that
don't want to go along with his high-cost scheme.
This carbon tax is increasing the cost of everyday essentials,
like gasoline, home heating and groceries.
And it will only go up after the next election.
He is refusing to tell Canadians how high his carbon tax will go
if he's re-elected.
The Conservative government under my leadership will
scrap the carbon tax.
Lisa: Mr. Scheer, thank you. Ms. May.
Ms. May: Thank you, Susan, for the question.
It's very important and, as Greens, cooperation is
in our DNA.
None of the problems we solve are going -- and we face -- are
are going to be solved if we keep arguing and fighting
with each another.
Whether it's within Parliament in our different parties,
or between the federal government, the provinces
The Greens are proposing a re-invigorated form
Modelled after what has been done in Australia,
we want a council of Canadian governments.
So federal government, provincial, territorial.
Municipal and the local orders of government need a seat
at the table.
So, too, do Indigenous leadership.
First Nations, Metis and Inuit around the same table
finding common ground on urgent issues like healthcare,
on the climate emergency and working together
in the public interests.
Lisa: Ms. May, thank you. Mr. Blanchet, your opportunity.
Mr. Blanchet: Thank you.
If I remember well, I seen a study today saying this
campaign is not about federal issues, but about provincial
and Québec issues. This is not a surprise.
If you want cooperation with provinces or Québec,
you need to respect the jurisdiction.
And something that you have to stop doing -- and this is
one of the demands of the government of Québec
on many issues -- is giving a hand to this,
our money being held hostage by the federal government
and giving back to us with conditions.
The money has to be given to provinces in their own fields
of jurisdiction should be given back without conditions.
Lisa: Mr. Blanchet, thank you.
Mr. Trudeau, your opportunity now.
Mr. Trudeau: In 10 years of Stephen Harper's government
he chose to stop meeting with premiers in
First Minister's meetings.
So we restarted that when we took office in 2015.
We were able to strengthen the CPP for a generation.
We were able to sign historic health accords with
massive investments in home care and in mental health.
We were able to invest in infrastructure like housing
and public transit across the country, and we continued
to work with provinces on renegotiating a NAFTA
that had everyone playing on one Team Canada.
Yes, with certain provinces right now we're fighting
on the defining issue of our time.
Jason Kenney and Doug Ford and other Conservative premiers
don't want to do anything on climate change.
We need a government in Ottawa that is going to fight them and
fight for Canadians on climate change,
and that's exactly what we're going to do.
Lisa: We will have the open debate coming up very shortly.
We are going to switch gears now, though, and give a leader
a chance to ask any other leader a question
on any topic they choose.
Again, the order of this was chosen by random draw.
The first leader this time is NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.
Mr. Singh, you have 30 seconds.
Mr. Singh: Thank you. My question is to Mr. Trudeau.
You talk often about how Conservatives cut taxes
for the wealthy and cut education and healthcare
and other services.
I agree with you and I've heard you say this often.
So my question is, you criticize Mr. Harper on his
climate targets but you failed to achieve them.
You criticized Mr. Harper on the fact that he cut
healthcare funding. You also cut them.
You criticized Mr. Harper and Conservatives on giving
billions to billionaires and corporations.
You gave $14 billion more.
My question is this, why do you keep letting down
the people that voted for you?
Mr. Trudeau: First thing we did was cut taxes for
the middle class and raise them for the wealthiest one percent.
And on climate change,
after 10 years of Stephen Harper doing nothing,
in just four years we've reached three quarters of the way
to our 2030 targets which we will meet and surpass.
But we know that's not enough.
We're going to continue to do more.
Like planting two billion trees, like moving forward on giving
money up-front so people can retrofit their homes,
on making Canada net zero by 2050.
We know how important it is to move forward and right now,
Mr. Scheer has promised that the first thing he would do is
to rip up the only real plan to fight climate change
that Canada has ever had.
These are the things we're going to be moving forward on
because Canadians expect us to.
We lifted 900,000 people out of poverty with our
investments in families, with the Canada Child Benefit.
And things that, actually, Mr. Scheer and Mr. Singh,
the NDP voted against.
We will continue to invest in families because it's creating
jobs and helping people out of poverty, because that's what
And that's what we will continue to do.
Lisa: Now the leaders have an opportunity to have the
open debate on this question.
It's for 4 minutes.
Mr. Singh, you may begin.
Mr. Singh: Thank you.
I just wanted to say, I mean, we look at
the track record of this government.
In reality, Statistics Canada points out in 2017,
the wealthiest actually paid less in tax
and gained more in wealth.
And when we look at one of the biggest problems that
we're faced with as a country is offshore tax havens.
Now not only did your finance minister use
offshore tax havens, but also the president
of the Treasury Board.
She also used offshore tax havens.
So how can you tell Canadians, we don't have the money
to fund things like universal pharmacare when
your top two cabinet ministers don't pay their fair share?
Mr. Trudeau: Mr. Scheer, you might remember that --
Mr. Singh, you might remember --
Mr. Singh: I'm very, very different than Mr. Scheer.
Mr. Trudeau: You look so alike it's difficult for me.
We had a huge fight with the wealthiest Canadians
and the Conservatives when we closed tax loopholes
that Mr. Scheer is going to re-open and give tax breaks
worth $50,000 to the wealthiest Canadians.
Mr. Scheer: Let's dive into that.
Mr. Trudeau: We're going to keep moving forward in a
way that invests in Canadians.
And that's what we're going to do.
Lisa: Mr. Trudeau will give Mr. Scheer an opportunity
Mr. Scheer: You called small business owners 'tax cheats'.
You called entrepreneurs who've created jobs and opportunities
in our society 'tax cheats', all the while protecting your
trust fund and those of your billionaire friends.
What we are doing is lowering taxes for all Canadians.
We've got a universal tax cut that will lower
the first bracket, that will --
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Mr. Scheer: We're going to bring in --
Lisa: Mr. Bernier, would you like to interject?
Mr. Bernier: For sure.
What they are doing, they are spending, spending,
Mr. Scheer: Tax cuts are not spending.
Mr. Bernier: Everybody here on this stage are spending
And, you know, you cannot create wealth when the government is
You must have the right policies for the entrepreneur actually.
We want the private sector to be able to invest.
Mr. Scheer: That's why we're going to undo these tax hikes.
Mr. Bernier: No, you won't balance the budget.
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Lisa: Ms. May would like the opportunity.
Ms. May: Thank you.
At the beginning of the segment, Mr. Singh pointed out
that Mr. Trudeau had not changed the climate targets
from those of Mr. Harper.
It needs to be said very clearly -- and I'm so disappointed,
because I believed the Liberals in 2015 that they would go
with science-based, evidence-based policies.
But the target that Mr. Trudeau is saying he will hit
for 2030 is a target for losing the fight against
climate change because it ignores the science,
it ignores the IPCC advice.
On this stage tonight, the Green Party is the only party
with a plan, Mission Possible, that will actually
protect us so that we can end carbon neutrality by 2050.
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Mr. Singh: What plan is this?
Ms. May: Which science did you find that matches
Mr. Singh: In line with the IPCC report, and it's to
keep warming within 1.5°.
Which you love to say, and it's very important.
And I agree with you.
Ms. May: I love to say it?
Because it's about our children's survival,
which I love to protect.
Mr. Singh: Here's the thing. To take on the climate crisis
that we're in, it's going to require the courage
to fight big polluters.
It's going take the courage to stand up to the massive
lobbyists that Mr. Trudeau has caved into and the reason
why we continue to pay subsidies to the fossil fuel sector.
We would immediately end those subsidies --
Mr. Trudeau: Mr. Singh, Ms. May, the experts are agreed that
what a climate plan needs to do is to be ambitious and doable.
And of the plans that are forward here on this stage,
there is only one plan that the experts have qualified as both
ambitious and doable, and that is the plan that we have begun
to put in place over the past 4 years.
Lisa: Last word.
Mr. Scheer: Mr. Trudeau's plan is failing.
It is making everything more expensive for
And he has granted a massive exemption to the country's
Our plan takes the climate change fight global recognizing
that Canada can do more to fight climate change by exporting
our clean technology and helping other countries lower
Lisa: And that concludes -- that is all the time we have
for the open debate.
That concludes this segment.
You had an opportunity. You got to jump right in.
So thank you, all, very much for the conclusion
of that segment.
I'm Althia Raj from Huff Post Canada , and the theme of
this segment is polarization, human rights and immigration.
And we'll begin with my question to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Mr. Singh, I want to ask you about Bill 21.
Your campaign is about courage, but you have not shown
the courage to fight Québec's discriminatory law.
It bars individuals who, like yourself, wear religious
symbols from some provincial employments.
If you were prime minister, would you stand back
and allow another province to discriminate against
Aren't you, and frankly the other leaders on the stage,
putting your own party's interests in Québec
ahead of your principles and the equality rights
of all citizens?
You have a minute to answer.
Mr. Singh: Sure.
It's probably pretty obvious to folks that I am obviously
against Bill 21.
It is something that hurts me, makes me feel sad.
I think about all the times I grew up being told
I couldn't do things because of the way I looked.
And I think about all the people in Canada that grow up
being told you can't achieve more because of their identity
or who they are.
And I think about the people in Québec right now that are
being told just because they wear a hijab that they
can't be a teacher,
or if they wear a yarmulke, they can't be a judge.
And that's hurtful, and it's wrong.
It probably comes as no surprise that I'm opposed to laws
that divide people.
What I do every single day when I go to Québec,
I say, hey, I'm here, I'm someone that believes
in fighting the climate crisis.
I'm someone that believes in firmly and unequivocally
the rights of women, the right of a woman to choose
and to build more access to abortion services.
I believe firmly in making sure we tackle the powerful
corporations that are influencing government
and that are not allowing --
that are challenging our ability to ensure that we
build services that lift up people.
I'm doing that every single day.
Althia: Thank you.
Mr. Scheer, you and Mr. Singh may debate this question.
Mr. Scheer: Well, Mr. Singh, I just want to start off by
congratulating you on the way you've handled so many issues
around race and identity.
Someone who has been the victim of these types of racist acts
in the past, I certainly believe you have handled it
with a lot of class.
Especially as it relates to some of the scandals that have
come out during this campaign.
I believe it's very important for people to understand
that while we will not intervene in this court case,
as a Conservative government, we do recognize and the
Conservative Party always stands for freedom and equality and
individual liberty, and we will make sure that --
we will not pursue this type of bill at the federal level.
Mr. Singh: I want to just touch on one of the themes
of this discussion, polarization.
And while Bill 21 is going to single out
people because of the way they look,
another thing that's happening in our country right now is
that people are being pit against each other.
And what's happening is people who can't find a home,
can't afford their bills, can't get the medication or
healthcare they need, are being told it's not the fault
of powerful corporations and those who are not paying
their fair share, but it's the fault of new Canadians.
It's the fault of a 12-year-old refugee,
or an immigrant who's breaking his back working 12 hours a day.
And that's why it's important for us to tackle economic
security if we want to tackle the polarization.
Althia: Thank you, Mr. Scheer and Mr. Singh.
Ms. May, you may debate Mr. Singh on this question.
Ms. May: I want to also echo Andrew's comments because
I think Jagmeet has done, as we all have done through this
rather strange period of an election campaign,
confronting issues of privilege and anyone with white skin
But when we look at Bill 21 in Québec,
I think it challenges all of us.
Like the NDP, the Green Party opposes Bill 21.
And then we're left with the question of what is
the best way for a federal government to protect
human rights within Québec.
Québecers are fighting this out within Québec.
Québec groups are going to court to say that
Bill 21 discriminates.
And as that goes forward, we are, frankly, looking at a
situation where we don't want to do anything
that hurts that debate within Quebec.
Mr. Singh: I understand.
What I want to also just touch on, while Bill 21 is
of course polarizing, on that point -- I know you agree
with me on this -- we've got to tackle the powerful
corporations that are not paying their fair share.
And that's part of the reason why people aren't able to
earn a good living and part of the reason why people
can't find housing or can't get the medication they need.
Because those at the top aren't paying their fair share.
Ms. May: It's not even about paying their fair share.
I think we'll agree on this.
Althia: Okay, thank you very much.
Ms. May, thank you. Ms. May, thank you.
Mr. Blanchet, your turn to debate Mr. Singh.
Mr. Blanchet: Yes. With 70 percent --
Mr. Singh: I'll give you more than 10 seconds.
Mr. Blanchet: You're nice.
With 70 percent of the population of Quebec supporting
Bill 21, and 70 percent of the members of Parliament
in Quebec supporting Bill 21 it's hardly a polarization
issue in Québec. That's the problem.
The problem is that -- and in English tonight
it will be quite clear -- everybody here has problems
with the very idea of, I will say it because there is
no word for that in English.
Everybody has a problem with it, but say in best of cases
that they would tolerate it.
But Québec does not need to be told what to do or what not
to do about its own values, nor its language,
nor themselves as a nation.
Mr. Singh: This is a bill that just says to people because
of the way they look that they can't do a job.
Mr. Blanchet: You know this is not true.
And you tweet that --
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Mr. Singh: Instead of that, what we should been doing --
Mr. Blanchet, instead of what we should be doing,
let's protect women's rights.
Let's build up more protection for a woman's right to choose.
Let's build up more protections for the LGBT community.
Let's build up more protections in society to build a society
where there is --
Althia: Okay, thank you.
Mr. Blanchet, thank you. Mr. Singh.
Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Singh can debate this question.
Mr. Trudeau: Mr. Singh, you have spoken very eloquently
about discrimination and fought against it all your life,
and that's why it's so surprising to have heard
you say, like every other leader on the stage, that a federal
government under you would not intervene in the question
of Bill 21 in Québec.
It's a question where, yes, it's awkward politically, because
as Mr. Blanchet says, it is very popular.
But I'm the only one on this stage who said, yes, a federal
government might have to intervene on this.
Because a federal government needs to protect
Needs to protect language rights.
Needs to protect women's rights.
And needs to do that right across the country.
You didn't say that you would possibly intervene.
You didn't even leave the door open.
Mr. Singh: Let's be honest for a second here.
Every single day of my life is fighting a bill like Bill 21.
Every single day of my life.
Mr. Trudeau: So why not fight it if you form government?
Mr. Singh: Every single day of my life is challenging
people who think that you can't do things because of
the way you look.
Every single day of my life I channel the frustrations
of people who feel that as well.
Like many people across our country are told
they can't achieve what they want because of how they look.
Mr. Trudeau: So why not act on your convictions
and leave the door open for challenging it?
Althia: Okay, thank you, Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Singh.
Mr. Bernier, your chance to go head to head with Mr. Singh.
Mr. Bernier: Yes, about the Bill 21,
we must respect the Constitution.
And we won't interfere at the federal level.
That's the definition from the provincial government.
And that's what we must do.
But also, Mr. Singh, you said that you didn't want me to be
here on this stage to have a discussion with you.
So you're for diversity, but what about diversity of opinion?
I have the right to have another opinion
And I don't know why you're not -- you're a leader and you
must be trying to have everybody on your side --
but are you believing --
Mr. Singh: Let me answer that question.
I can answer that question.
Mr. Bernier: Are you believing in free speech only
when people are saying things that you want to hear?
Mr. Singh: You're asking, let me answer it.
After a couple of minutes of this debate tonight, I think
people can clearly see why I didn't think you should
deserve a platform.
The comments that you're making, the type of things you say --
it's one thing to say that you disagree with somebody,
that's fine, but when you incite hatred --
Mr. Bernier: No I don't! No, it's not true.
You cannot say that.
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Mr. Singh: You insult a young girl, ask about her
mental stability, it shows a lack of judgment.
You don't deserve a platform,
and I'm happy to challenge you on that because
your ideas are hurtful to Canada.
I will always work to build unity, bring people together.
Althia: Okay, thank you very much.
Merci, Mr. Bernier. Thank you, Mr. Singh.
Continuing with our theme of polarization, human rights,
immigration, we have people watching this debate
right across the country, including a big crowd at the
Student Union Building at the University of British Columbia.
And our next question comes from Paige McDicken who joins us
Please go ahead, Paige.
Paige: Hi, good evening.
Hi, good evening.
My name is Paige McDicken, and I'm here tonight at U.B.C.,
but I live in Coldstream, British Columbia.
My question is along the lines of polarization and, to me,
Canada feels more divided than ever before.
If diversity is our strength, but division is weakness,
how will your leadership seek to provide a unified vision
for Canada and how will you ensure that all voices
across the political spectrum are heard and considered?
Althia: Mr. Singh, you may begin.
You have 40 seconds.
Mr. Singh: Sure.
Paige, thank you so much for the question.
I appreciate getting a chance to chat with you.
Thanks for tuning in.
When you talk about the divisions we have in
our country, there are a lot of divisions, and they're growing.
And I point to a lot of reasons for it.
There's radicalization, there's hateful discourse,
there's a climate which allows people to be emboldened.
But the other reason why people are being exploited into
hating one another is because they're worried
about the future.
There's a lot of people that can't get
the basic things they need --
like housing, the healthcare they need.
And it's really the neglect of the federal government
that have brought us to this position.
And I think the way we tackle a lot of the polarization is
making sure people get the basic things they need.
Like housing, healthcare.
Althia: Thank you very much.
Mr. Scheer, your turn.
Mr. Scheer: Well, it's very important that we understand
why Canada is a country of such diversity.
It's because people come from all over the world
to take refuge here, to build a better life here.
It is because of our freedom.
That is the common ground that everyone who has come here,
no matter what generation, no matter from
what part of the world, can agree on.
And it's important that we remember that,
promote that and ensure that people who come here
embrace that aspect that makes our country so great.
But what is very dangerous is when you have
a prime minister like Justin Trudeau who uses
legitimate issues like racism and hateful language to demonize
anyone who disagrees with him,
calling people un-Canadian for disagreeing with his failure
on the border --
Althia: Thank you very much.
Mr. Scheer, I'm sorry.
Ms. May, your turn.
Ms. May: Thanks, Paige, and hey to you, B.C.
I raise my hands to the Musqueam, Squamish and
We need the kind of leadership that lifts people up,
that doesn't make people feel as if politics is rather
disgusting and they'd rather not look at it.
We have to restore the idea of real democracy where every
citizen has agency and power to work together.
Mission Possible for climate action.
We call all hands on deck. We're going to need everybody.
And to have the kind of democracy that really reflects
everyone, we need fair voting.
We need to get rid of first-past-the-post,
because it creates each political party as rival
warring camps, even when the elections are over.
Althia: Thank you very much, Ms. May.
Mr. Blanchet: Yes.
I believe that democracy grows on information.
So translating with people, by vote for people who look like
you is at best dishonest.
And may I remind you that in 2011, the exact same
phrase was said by Michael Ignatieff.
That in 2015, the same sentence was said by Thomas Mulcair.
So people --
Althia: Thank you very much. I'm sorry, you're out of time.
It's 40 seconds for each leader.
Ms. May: It says 45 on...
Althia: I'm sorry. It has moved on to 40, sorry.
Everybody has the same time. It's Mr. Trudeau's time.
Mr. Trudeau: Thank you, Paige, for your question.
It's great to see everyone at U.B.C.
One of my alma maters.
It's really important to recognize that, yes,
we're in a time of polarization and differences
that get highlighted by the kind of debate going on
at this stage and in this campaign about
how we're moving forward.
The reality is Canadians agree on most things.
We want to raise our kids in a world that is getting better
We want to be able to pay for their futures.
We want to be able to retire in comfort.
We want to create opportunities for our neighbours as well.
This is something that binds Canadians together
right around the country.
And the fact that there is a politics of fear
and division that is continuing to dominate here
underlies what we're actually doing together as a country.
Althia: Thank you very much, Mr. Trudeau.
Mr. Bernier: Speaking about immigration,
it is not polarization.
Actually Canada receives more immigrants per capita
than any other Western country.
Three times higher than the U.S.
So we must have a discussion about that.
It is the equivalent of one Nova Scotia every three years,
the population of Nova Scotia every three years
here in Canada.
So you know, they all are for mass immigration.
I'm for a sustainable immigration.
And that's why we must have fewer immigrants,
the maximum of 150,000 a year
with more economic immigrants for our country.
Althia: Thank you very much, Mr. Bernier.
We are moving on to a one-on-one format
followed by an open debate.
We start with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.
You may pick any leader of your choice
and ask any question of your choosing.
Althia: You have 30 seconds.
Mr. Scheer: Mr. Trudeau, you broke ethics laws twice.
You interfered in an ongoing criminal court proceeding.
You shut down parliamentary investigations into your
corruption and you fired the only two people in your caucus
who were speaking out against what you were trying to do,
just for telling the truth.
Tell me, when did you decide the rules don't apply to you?
Mr. Trudeau: Mr. Scheer, the role of a prime minister is to
stand up for Canadians' jobs, to stand up for the
public interest, and that's what I've done
and will continue to do every single day.
The way I have worked for Canadians is around
investing in them.
Unlike the vision you're putting forward of giving tax breaks
that help people who are making $400,000 a year more
than someone making $40,000 a year.
You're offering a $50,000 tax break, which is more money
than most Canadians earn to the wealthiest Canadians
with your plan.
Of course, we don't entirely know your plan because you
haven't released your costed platform yet,
which I think is a disrespect to every Canadian watching tonight.
Mr. Scheer: Where's your costed platform?
Half of it isn't costed.
Althia: Mr. Scheer, you will have a chance to rebut.
Mr. Trudeau: Our platform came out weeks ago, and we worked
with the Parliamentary Budget Officer and we have a vision,
but it is a different vision than yours,
because we're choosing to invest in people.
You're choosing, just like Doug Ford did, to hide your
platform from Canadians and deliver cuts, cuts to
services and cuts to taxes for the wealthiest.
Althia: Mr. Scheer, you may begin to rebut.
And anybody is free to join in.
Mr. Scheer: You know, you're making things up again.
Half of your platform isn't even costed.
You're making announcements without any details.
And without any numbers.
You aren't telling Canadians --
Mr. Trudeau: This is entirely untrue.
You're the one who is hiding your platform from Canadians.
Mr. Scheer: We know that taxes will go up under your government
if you're re-elected.
We started off talking about --
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Mr. Scheer: You looked Canadians in the eye and you said
the allegations in The Globe and Mail were false.
You said Jodie Wilson-Raybould never came to you.
You said you never put pressure on her.
We now know that those were all lies.
You have failed to tell the truth in a corruption scandal.
Mr. Trudeau: Mr. Scheer, the responsibility of any
prime minister is to stand up for jobs.
And what you're saying is you wouldn't have done that.
Mr. Scheer: The CEO of SNC-Lavalin said they'd
never threaten jobs or moving their headquarters.
You are making that up again.
Mr. Singh: What we have here is Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Scheer
arguing about who is worse for Canada.
Really we got to start presenting who's going to be
best for Canada.
And when we think about what Canadians are going through,
Mr. Scheer, your small tax cuts are not going to help a family
that's struggling with the cost of childcare,
which costs thousands of dollars a month.
Your small tax cuts aren't going to help out a family
that's struggling with the cost of medication
that can cost hundreds of dollars a month.
Mr. Scheer: Canadians are struggling to get by,
and we're going to put more money in their pocket.
$850 with the universal tax cut.
Mr. Singh: Let me finish my point here.
We're going to same families money by investing
in pharmacare for all,
which is going to save families over $500 a month.
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Mr. Singh: We're going to invest in childcare --
let me finish my point.
We're going to invest in childcare which is going
to save families thousands of dollars a month.
And we're going to make sure that those families that earn
less than $70,000 get dentacare.
That's going to save families at least $1240 a month.
Mr. Bernier: Where will you find the money?
Mr. Singh: This is the Conservative spin,
where we're going to find the money is this:
we're going to ask the wealthiest Canadians,
those who have wealth of over $20 million,
those who have fortunes of over $20 million,
we're going to ask them to pay a little bit more.
Yes, we think they should.
It's only going to apply to --
Ms. May: You know what's fascinating about that proposal,
because we have the same proposal in our budget.
When the Parliamentary Budget Office reviews them
guess what they find is the single biggest uncertainty
when we go for revenues from the wealthiest?
They're worried that they'll hire lawyers and avoid
paying that tax.
If you go look at the Parliamentary Budget Office
reviews, people said 'oh, well, the Green Party is proposing
to spend a lot of money'.
Yes, on pharmacare, yes on childcare, abolishing tuition,
and the weakness, they say, in our revenue sources is
that wealthy Canadians will continue to hire lawyers
and evade their taxes.
I think that's shocking.
I think we need to say to people, this is the most
beautiful, blessed country on earth, and if you have
wealth, you have obligation, you have responsibility.
Mr. Blanchet: If I may --
Ms. May: Pay your taxes.
Mr. Blanchet: I seem to remember --
Mr. Singh: People have got to contribute their fair share.
Mr. Bernier: I seem to remember that Mr. Scheer referred to
remember that Mr. Scheer the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
And I want to speak for 3,400 innocent people
that did nothing wrong.
When Mr. Trudeau tried to find a solution, he did it the
wrong way and he admitted it.
What you are doing, Mr. Scheer, is playing this old card.
You're trading the idea that Québec is corrupt.
Those 3,400 people have done nothing wrong.
Now the value of the shares are going down.
The employees are leaving.
Mr. Scheer: Mr. Blanchet, with all due respect,
there is never an excuse for a prime minister to
interfere in an independent court case.
We do not want to live in a country where someone can abuse
the power of their office to reward their friends
and punish their enemies.
Mr. Blanchet: And those people have to pay the price for that.
Innocent people pay the price for that.
Mr. Bernier: I just want to add, Andrew, that I was the only
leader who said no corporation is above the law.
I was the only one who said that.
Mr. Scheer: That's not true.
Ms. May: I think I said that, too, Max.
It may be the only thing on which we agree
that no corporation is above the law.
And we need an inquiry into what went on --
Mr. Bernier: Good, it's a nice beginning.
Althia: What a wonderful show of unanimity on
this wonderful topic.
And that wraps up this topic and this segment.
Thank you very much.
I'm Susan Delacourt from the Toronto Star .
I'm moderator for the next theme which will be Indigenous issues.
We're going to begin this segment which was also
chosen by random draw with my question to Conservative
leader Andrew Scheer.
So here it is.
Mr. Scheer, you've said that a Conservative government would
focus on practical things in its relationship with Canada's
As you pursue your promised energy corridor, practically
speaking, how will you consult, accommodate, and obtain consent
from Indigenous peoples?
And what will you do when your plans come into conflict
with Indigenous rights and interests?
Mr. Scheer: Well, thank you very much for the question.
And as someone who has 12 First Nations reserves in his riding,
I understand the importance of balancing treaty rights
and also the ability for Indigenous Canadians to
participate in the economy.
That really is the key.
And what I've said is that a Conservative government will
ensure that the proposal for the national energy corridor
takes into account Indigenous concerns by ensuring that
a cabinet minister is responsible specifically
for Indigenous consultations.
And unlike the court ruling that found that the current
government mishandled the consultations under the TMX
Pipeline, we will ensure that it's dynamic, that it is more
than just ticking a box and listening to concerns.
It's actually addressing those concerns.
But we have to remember that we have to get to a place
in this country where big things can get built again.
And duty to consult means that concerns are heard
But that also we find a path to letting things get built
in this country.
Susan: Ms. May.
Ms. May: Thank you.
I am appalled by the fact that Mr. Scheer has forgotten
that there was a duty to consult on the Harper government
as well and that they also violated in the findings
of the court,
identical to Trans Mountain on the case of Enbridge.
It's the United Nation's Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples needs to come into force of law
in this country.
I know you oppose it because of debate we had at Maclean's ,
but the reality is that Section 35 of the Constitution already
requires consultation, and it does not boil down to
we will consult with Indigenous people until we get them
to agree with us.
It is about respect, nation to nation of Indigenous territorial
rights that are inherent.
Mr. Scheer: So what does free, prior and informed consent mean
for every single Indigenous community?
What about the dozens and dozens of Indigenous communities
who want these projects to go ahead?
Ms. May: Why are you prepared to set aside the decision
of the Human Rights Tribunal to fight it in court, just as
Mr. Trudeau is when they actually found as a matter
of fact that our government committed acts that were
reckless, and willful in the violation of the rights
of Indigenous children.
We must live up to that decision.
Mr. Scheer: There are dozens of Indigenous communities who
want these projects to go ahead because they know that
it's the key to prosperity on the reserve.
They know it's the way for their young people to get jobs.
Ms. May: Territorial rights are inherently local.
I don't want to argue. I'll let you talk.
Susan: Mr. Blanchet, it is now your turn.
Mr. Blanchet: Thank you.
You say, Mr. Scheer, that you want to respect provinces
and Québec's jurisdiction.
But when it comes to this pipeline of yours, this --
[speaking in French]
which translation, I'm sorry, in English is pipeline --
you don't fear the idea of expropriating territories
going into provinces and saying the Constitution,
yours not mine, the Constitution says that I have the right
to go through provinces, through Québec,
without their approval.
And may I remind you that Québecers and the Prime Minister
of Québec have said clearly that he does not want it.
Mr. Scheer: That's completely false.
What we're talking about here is addressing the environmental
concerns and the Indigenous concerns up front.
Getting that out of the way so there can be a geographic space
so projects can be built again.
Mr. Blanchet: Now it belongs Québec.
Mr. Scheer: We're talking about the regulatory environment
And you know as well as I do that Québecers purchase
a huge percentage of their energy from the United States.
I've made my choice.
I believe Québecers should get --
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Mr. Scheer: I made my choice, Mr. Blanchet.
Mr. Blanchet: You have done, and Quebec will make his.
Susan: Mr. Bernier, I remind you that this is about how
will we respect Indigenous rights?
Oh, Mr. Trudeau. Sorry.
Mr. Trudeau: Thank you.
We all remember 10 years of Stephen Harper who did not
respect Indigenous rights, did not respect Indigenous peoples.
And Mr. Scheer, you're putting forward exactly the same plan
that didn't just fail Indigenous peoples, didn't just fail
Indigenous communities and their kids, but they also failed
to get important energy projects built.
We need to keep moving forward in a way that respects
Indigenous peoples, respects that there's going to be a
range of views, but is grounded in the
U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that
you have consistently blocked through your party's actions.
That is not respect for Indigenous peoples.
Perry Bellegarde, the Grand Chief, the Head of the
Assembly of First Nation's has said that no government has
done more for Indigenous peoples than this government.
And he's one of your constituents, Mr. Scheer.
Mr. Scheer: That's right. He comes from Little Blackbear
in my riding.
Mr. Trudeau: He'd love to talk to you.
Mr. Scheer: He's got my phone number.
Mr. Trudeau: I'll ask him to give you a phone call sometime.
Mr. Scheer: I have nothing to learn from Mr. Trudeau
who fired the first Indigenous attorney general
for doing her job.
She said that she would do politics differently
and you fired her when she did.
You want to talk about getting pipelines built?
You've cancelled two pipelines,
and the one you bought, you can't build.
You've let tens of thousands of people in Alberta and
And you have failed to recognize that Indigenous
communities are hurt by this as well.
Mr. Trudeau: I am accepting the fact that I'm going to be
attacked for not building pipelines from some
and for building pipelines for others.
[inaudible; multiple speakers]
Susan: I think we'll be talking about this more.
Mr. Scheer: You're doing nothing.
Susan: Mr. Bernier?
Mr. Bernier: Mr. Scheer, you've said that you're ready
for building pipelines all across this country
by the private sector.
But at the same time, you said, you know, Québecers are ready
to buy oil and gas from Canada.
I agree with that.
I agree that Québecers know that it's safer to transport
oil and gas by pipelines than by trains.
But at the same time, the Québec government said that there is
no social acceptability for a pipeline in Québec.
What will be your position on that?
Do you think that you'll be able to use
the Constitution, because after consultation, if we don't
have any agreement, we must be able to use the Constitution,
Section 92.10, to be able to build a pipeline.
When you do that, the federal government will have the full
authority, the full jurisdiction to approve the pipeline.
But what you're saying, you're for pipelines, but you don't
have the courage to use the Constitution to be sure that
we'll have pipelines in this country for the unity of our
country and the prosperity of our country.
Mr. Scheer: That's just not the case at all.
I've always said the government must stand up for
We respect provincial jurisdiction.
When you've got the best idea, I'm convinced I can get support
for this project.
Mr. Bernier: You don't have the support in Québec,
you don't have the support in B.C.
Mr. Scheer: Québecers know that it's better to take
energy from western Canada than the tanker after tanker of
foreign oil coming up the St. Lawrence, or oil and gas
coming from Donald Trump's economy.
I know Québecers will support this project because it will
also allow them to share their hydro-electrical power
with other provinces as well.
Susan: Mr. Singh?
Mr. Singh: I want to talk about a recent decision.
The Human Rights Tribunal of Canada found that the
Harper government and Mr. Trudeau's government
willfully and recklessly discriminated against
These are kids that weren't getting equal funding.
Then there's a landmark decision that said these kids should
get equal funding.
And it was received as, finally, some justice for those kids.
Then Mr. Trudeau now, and his government, are going
to appeal that decision.
He wanted to fight hard to keep SNC-Lavalin out of the courts,
but he's going to drag Indigenous kids to court.
That is wrong.
How could someone do that?
How could someone do that?
Mr. Scheer: This decision will have huge ramifications for
several aspects of the way the federal government provides
services to Indigenous Canadians.
It also is a very large significant settlement amount,
and I believe when you're dealing with these types of
important public policy issues, that it's legitimate to say
it should be reviewed -- have a judicial review.
Mr. Singh: I disagree of course, but I want to talk
about one other issue.
We're talking about Indigenous issues.
I went to Grassy Narrows again just recently.
We've got a community impacted by mercury poisoning,
and an Indigenous activist went to a private fundraiser where
Mr. Trudeau mocked that Indigenous activist saying
"thank you for your donation."
To someone living with mercury poisoning.
What kind of prime minister does that?
Mr. Scheer: I wish I had that answer.
But one that doesn't deserve to be re-elected.
Susan: That's time for this section of the debate.
The open debate is over, but we continue on our theme
of Indigenous affairs.
We have a question from an audience member here
Go ahead, Natasha.
Natasha: Good evening.
As a member of Beausoleil First Nation, my question is this,
if elected, how would your parties work with provinces and
territories on recognizing and affirming Indigenous rights,
specifically noting the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's
calls to action, and the calls for justice in the recent
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry.
Susan: The leaders will all have a chance to answer
this question. Thank you, Natasha.
Starting with Mr. Scheer.
Mr. Scheer: Thank you very much for the question.
Of course there's a lot there for just 40 seconds.
There are many areas in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous
Women report that Conservatives have been calling for
for quite a while.
Including combating human trafficking.
Something that is very important.
Also, we support preserving Indigenous languages by ensuring
that the federal government does what it can to prevent
some of the languages that are at risk of being lost
to preserve them.
When we're talking about the U.N. Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples, we need to remember that when you talk
about free, prior and informed consent, that leaves a great
deal of uncertainty about what that means.
And there are large numbers of Indigenous communities
who want these energy projects to succeed,
and we need certainty and clarity around that.
Susan: All right.
We will now go to Ms. May.
Ms. May: Natasha, miigwetch.
It's an extremely important question and Greens
across the country are united in this.
We will honour the U.N. Declaration on the rights
of indigenous peoples.
It must be brought into law in this country.
And our existing web of laws and regulations,
which were properly described by the Inquiry
on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
as constituting structural violence
must be reviewed and brought up
to the standard of the United Nations Declaration.
We must bring in the recommendations of the Inquiry
into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous
Women and Girls and the calls to action of
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
It is not a short-term project.
It is on us as settler Canadians to bring justice.
Susan: Mr. Blanchet.
Mr. Blanchet: We also support the Declaration of the
United Nations on the Rights of Indigenous People.
I do believe and I spend the most beautiful moments
of this campaign with people from the First Nations.
They are nations as well as Canada is a nation
and Québec is a nation.
A nation does not put its culture, its language
its heritage in the hands of another nation.
So what they ask for, and they have to ask because
we are not -- we are no better than they are,
to represent themselves, is that all those reports
and inquiries and declarations, bring something
real and respectful for them.
Susan: Mr. Trudeau.
Mr. Trudeau: Thank you, Natasha, for the question.
We have moved forward on reconciliation in ways
that no previous government has been able to,
but I'm the first to recognize there
is much more to do.
We lifted 87 long-term boil-water advisories
and we're on track to lifting 50 more.
But we're continuing to invest in communities
on the issue of child and family services.
We recognize the tribunal's ruling that
says children need to be compensated
and we will be compensating them.
But we've also moved forward to end the tragedies
by moving forward on legislation that keeps kids
in care in their communities with their language,
with their culture.
We also want to move forward with Grassy Narrows
with the community on a treatment centre
and money is not the objection to investing
in what they need in that treatment centre.
Susan: Thank you.
Mr. Bernier: No other leader is ready to build
a new relationship with our First Nations.
They all support the status quo.
But the system is broken.
We still have extreme poverty on reserve.
We need a bold reform.
And we are the only party that will try to implement
property rights on reserve and also establish
a new relationship based on self-reliance
for these communities.
We need to build a new system working with them,
but that is not what they want.
Because we cannot fix the system right now
if we don't do a bold reform and we are ready for that.
Susan: Mr. Singh.
Mr. Singh: Thank you so much for the question.
Really, it's a matter of respect and dignity.
All of the issues you raised come down
to the basic question of respect and dignity.
One of the first things we'd do, we wouldn't take
indigenous kids to court and challenge a decision
that says they were willfully and recklessly
We wouldn't do that.
We would immediately address issues of justice.
That means implementing all the recommendations
from the reports that are so powerful and have
a guideline toward solving the problems.
We'd make sure there is clean drinking water.
I don't accept any excuses why we can't in 2019.
We'd make sure that we'd implement clean housing,
good quality housing and education and welfare services.
We can do these things.
Susan: Thank you.
Now we have time for another leader-to-leader debate
on any topic.
Leading this one off will be Green party leader,
Elizabeth, you have, I believe, one minute.
Ms. May: Thank you, thank you, Susan.
My question is to Justin Trudeau.
Picking up from this very fractured discussion
on indigenous issues, but let's face it, right now
indigenous peoples, the Assembly of First Nations
are telling us their number one concern
is climate emergency.
And we need to focus on real solutions.
It's not good enough to have better rhetoric
than Mr. Scheer, and with all respect to Mr. Singh,
it's not about rhetoric.
It's about a target grounded in science.
And to do that we need 60 percent reductions by 2030,
not Mr. Singh's 38, not your 30.
Will you, Mr. Trudeau, join with all of us
in an inner cabinet that gets rid of the partisanship
and says after this election, we move to protect
our children's future together?
Susan: Mr. Trudeau, your answer.
Mr. Trudeau: We recognize that targets are important;
we're going to be surpassing the targets we inherited,
but targets are not a plan.
We have a real plan that has delivered
over the past four years on our way to banning
single-use plastics, on putting a price on pollution
right across the country, in a way
that returns money to Canadians.
Unlike what Mr. Scheer is saying, most Canadians
80 percent of Canadians better off with a price
on pollution than they will be when he rips up
our climate change if he were to form government
after this election.
We will continue to do the things that need to be done
and bring Canadians along with it.
Our plan is realistic and ambitious and doable.
And that is what Canadians need.
Because the danger of not acting on the environment
The danger of not having a plan for our future,
either the environment or the economy,
is going to be borne by our kids.
Susan: Ms. May, you may now begin open debate.
There is 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
Ms. May: The science is clear.
Your target is a commitment to failure,
that's why it's so doable and achievable,
because it doesn't do what the IPCC says we must do.
We must go off fossil fuels as quickly as possible.
You bought a pipeline.
You can't be a climate leader and spend $10 to $13
billion more on a project that by itself
blows through our carbon budget.
Mr. Trudeau: A slogan is not a plan, Ms. May.
Ms. May: We have a plan.
Mr. Trudeau: It is an unrealizable plan.
Canadians need action that is going to
actually make us better, fight climate change,
protect the environment and build a stronger economy
for our kids.
That's what we have --
Ms. May: With all due respect --
Mr. Trudeau: We have done more in the past four years
than any government in the history of Canada.
Ms. May: No, that's not true.
Paul Martin did more.
No one remembers Paul Martin's plan in 2005;
it was better.
[talking over each other]
Mr. Trudeau: Over the past four years
we delivered on it.
Susan: Can we let some other leaders in?
Ms. May: Having a four-story building and getting
a one-story ladder doesn't do it.
Mr. Scheer: That is completely false.
And just because you say something over and over again
doesn't make it true.
Mr. Trudeau: It would be nice for you to learn that,
Mr. Scheer: There is no Canadian that believes
they're going to be better off
by paying a carbon tax.
You have given a massive exemption to the country's
Mr. Trudeau: Economists, the experts, the parliamentary
budget officer points out that 80 percent of Canadians
are better off under our --
Mr. Scheer: He had to trust the numbers you gave him.
Nobody believes your numbers, Justin.
Mr. Trudeau: You do not want to act on climate change.
[talking over each other]
Susan: One at a time.
Mr. Singh and then Mr. Bernier.
Mr. Singh: I want to say this directly to Canadians.
You do not need to choose between Mr. Delay
and Mr. Deny.
There is another option out there.
We are committed to a real plan that is going to take on
the biggest polluters, it's going to take on
the powerful interests, because that's what we need to do
if we want to build a better future.
Ms. May: What is your target?
Mr. Singh: It's going to mean taking on the powerful.
Ms. May: You can take on the powerful,
but you to need to have a plan that is rooted
in targets that saves our kids' future.
[talking over each other]
Mr. Singh: We're prepared to do that.
Mr. Bernier: People must know that Mr. Scheer
and Mr. Trudeau, you're the same on climate change.
You want to impose carbon tax on Canadians and
you want to impose more costly immigration.
Mr. Blanchet: I think that's most thing you've said
all night, Max, that we're the same on climate change.
Mr. Bernier: You want to impose also a big tax
on the big emitters.
So, you're the same on climate change and you won't be able
to achieve your target.
Mr. Blanchet: You and I have to find some common
ground when we get into that House of Commons.
Ms. May: I don't think it'll be on JNL Quebec
and the fact that you're supporting a project
that blows through more of the carbon budget
against the will of many Quebecers
and threatens the St. Lawrence River.
Mr. Blanchet: This is not what I had in mind
when I provided answers to that.
I think the goal should be down to almost nothing.
Not 30, not 60, but almost nothing.
What do you think about this idea of equalization
based on gas emissions?
Those who are over the average emissions of Canada
pay, and those who are under the average emissions
get the money.
The incentive is for both parts.
Ms. May: What we have to do is work together
and, with all due respect, that's the question
I asked Mr. Trudeau.
Are any of you prepared to accept the notion of
changing status quo decision-making so we form
an internal cabinet based on finding
the existential threat of climate change?
[talking over each other]
Susan: Ladies and gentlemen, that is all the time we have.
That concludes this round.
Thank you very much.
And onto the next one.
I'm Dawna Friesen from Global News.
I'm moderating this segment on affordability
and income security.
Before I begin, I just want to say,
you've all been very vigorous in your debate.
Some of your comments have gone a little long.
We're going to have to trim a bit in terms of time,
but we'll make sure we keep those trims fair and equal.
So, on this topic, Ms. May,
I have a question to you.
Canadians are carrying $2 trillion
of household debt.
That means the average Canadian owes about $1.79 for every
dollar of income he or she earns per year after taxes.
It's never been this high.
We're borrowing to live.
Something my parents told me was a terrible idea.
You have made a bold promise to balance
the federal budget in five years.
How do you do that without causing more financial pain
for Canadians and putting people further into debt?
What is the single biggest thing in your policies,
in your platform that will reduce household debt?
Ms. May: Thank you for the question.
I'm very pleased that we are the party standing on stage
today that has a full platform,
has the budget numbers publicly accessible and
approved as a budget that passes muster by Kevin Page
and the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy.
The way to bring more public service, to bring more help
to Canadians -- child care, banning tuition,
investing in post-secondary education,
pharmacare, dental programmes for low-income Canadians --
all things that make life more affordable
is not to have cuts, but to go after places where
there is revenue: offshore money that's being hidden,
a financial transaction tax,
going after one percent tax on people who have more than
$20 million in wealth, and a series of moves to increase
the revenue coming into the government of Canada.
Now that is all, of course, based on the current
If we hit a recession, we would not slavishly
or ideologically balance the books, but right now
we think we'll have a balanced budget in five years.
Dawna: Mr. Blanchet, your opportunity to debate
Ms. May on this topic.
Mr. Blanchet: It is really a bad idea
to borrow to live.
It is a no better idea to cut too strongly
into services to people that mainly need it.
What about the idea of cutting all subsidies to oil
as we proposed to do with bringing a law
on the floor about that.
How about this idea we have green equalization,
which brings money to the government?
How about cutting into those tax shelters,
including the two new ones created by Mr. Trudeau?
What about taxing and pursuing those giants on the web
that steal the money from our advertising companies?
Ms. May: In our platform, we call for taxes
on the e-commerce companies, the virtuals,
the Amazons, Googles and Facebook, that mine
billions of dollars out of this country
and pay virtually no tax.
We agree with you.
We have to cut all fossil fuel subsidies.
As a matter of fact, that was a promise made
by Mr. Harper in 2009, by Mr. Trudeau in 2015,
but they've increased because we're subsidizing
LNG which I'd like to hear you answer
where you are on GNL Quebec.
We need to get rid of fossil fuels and right now
we're still giving public funds to pipelines.
Mr. Blanchet: I was the minister responsible for the --
Dawna: I'm going to move you on, I'm sorry.
Mr. Trudeau, your chance to debate Ms. May
on household debt.
Mr. Trudeau: We made a very different decision
than Stephen Harper had in the previous ten years
when we decided to invest in Canadians instead.
And that decision to invest in the middle class and
people working hard to join it lifted 900,000 people
out of poverty including 300,000 kids.
We gave more support for students going to school.
We made more supports for seniors.
What that has done is grown our economy more
than a million new jobs created, most of them full-time
over the past four years at the same time
as we have reduced poverty exceeding any targets
that we had even set forward.
We've done that in way that is responsible.
The international credit --
Ms. May: He's at 45 seconds with 8 seconds left for me.
Dawna: Ms. May, Ms. May.
Ms. May: Can I respond?
Dawna: Let's give the floor to Ms. May.
Ms. May: The concern I have about all these debates
and I'm sure a number of leaders on stage share it,
we don't have any section on health costs
or health care in the course of two debates.
So I want to turn this to the affordability issue
and how much more affordable life will be for Canadians
with full universal, single-payer pharmacare.
It's in our platform.
It's partially in yours.
It's in Mr. Singh's.
We need to deliver healthcare.
Mr. Trudeau: We've taken concrete actions toward that.
Lowering drug prices.
Ms. May: But are you prepared to accept
Eric Hoskins' recommendations for universal,
Dawna: I'm afraid time's up for you.
Mr. Bernier, your chance to debate Ms. May
on household debt.
Mr. Bernier: Yeah, absolutely.
I look at your platform, Elizabeth,
and you know you will spend $60 billion.
Spending won't create any wealth.
You cannot spend your way to prosperity.
We need to have more private sector investment.
And at the end, you know, you know that our national
credit card is full.
We still have deficits.
And Mr. Trudeau just had $70 billion on our debt
and you'll add another $60 billion on our debt.
It is not responsible.
Our children will have to pay for that.
Ms. May: Your famous private sector having got
massive tax cuts when you were in Mr. Harper's cabinet
based on being told these were the job creators
and it would be great when they got tax cuts.
They have not invested in the economy.
They're sitting on piles of cash.
Mark Carney calls it the dead money.
We need to get that money and do public sector
infrastructure investments like a national grid.
Mr. Bernier: Do you know where we agree?
Ms. May: Global energy from one part of the country
to the other.
No pipelines, by the way, but we need an electricity grid
that serves the needs of every province and
Mr. Bernier: What I like from you, Elizabeth, you don't
want any subsidies to the oil and gas industries
and I don't believe in corporate subsidies also
and corporate welfare, so we can agree on that.
Dawna: Alright, let's move on to Mr. Singh?
Mr. Singh: Thank you, Ms. May.
I appreciate that you wanted to shift
the discussion toward health care.
I think it's one of the biggest concerns
that families have.
When we look at Canadians across the country,
they can't get the medication they need.
They can't get the dental care they need.
I met a woman in my office in Burnaby
who was covering up her mouth because
she was embarrassed that she lost her teeth
because she couldn't get the care she needed.
And that to me is heartbreaking in a country
as wealthy as ours.
I know, Ms. May, you're prepared to do this,
but the problem is Mr. Trudeau does not have the courage
to take on the insurance and the pharmaceutical lobbyists
that don't want this to happen.
I'm going to make this happen.
If you vote New Democrats, we're going to make sure
we make these things happen, because we don't work
for the powerful and wealthy.
We don't meet with pharmaceutical companies
and then listen to them.
We work for you; we work for Canadians.
We're going to deliver on these things.
Ms. May: I hope you'll agree with me,
we need to renegotiate a new health accord.
It's been left alone for too long.
We need to get back at the table.
The constituents in my riding -- I just did eight
debates with the local candidates in my riding.
By the way, all of you guys can be proud, except for you,
Mr. Blanchet, all of you can be proud of the candidates
you have running locally, because I've been
in eight debates with them in the last week.
One thing we heard from every constituent in every
Town Hall meeting is we are suffering from a lack
of family doctors.
We need investment in the health care.
The wheels are falling off the bus
and we need to invest.
Mr. Singh: And Mr. Trudeau continues the same cuts
brought in by the Conservatives.
Dawna: Mr. Scheer, your opportunity.
Mr. Scheer: The question was about affordability.
Dawna: And household debt.
Mr. Scheer: And the entire theme of our platform
is leaving more money in the pockets of Canadians
so that they can get ahead.
It's time for Canadians to have a break.
Our universal tax cut will mean $850 in the pocket
of a hard-working average-income Canadian.
We're going to bring back the children's fitness
tax credit to make raising children more affordable.
We're going to bring back the Green public transit
tax credit to make taking the bus or the train
We're going to help fight climate change by bringing in
the Green home renovation tax credit,
which will put money in the pockets of Canadians
and help lower emissions.
We're going pay for that.
Ms. May: It won't lower emissions.
The costs will go through the roof.
Mr. Scheer: The way we're going to pay for those
is by cutting corporate welfare and reducing
Canada's foreign aid budget by 25 percent.
So we're going to stop sending money to
the relatively well-off countries; we're going
to bring that home so Canadians can get ahead.
Ms. May: Mr. Scheer, that may be the worst idea
in your whole non-platform is the cutting of foreign aid.
I wear this little pin.
This is the sustainable development goals of the
United Nations to which this country is committed.
Ending poverty within next decade within Canada
and globally is actually possible.
But not if we ever had the misfortune
of having your short-term, misguided, greedy
and selfish policies.
Mr. Scheer: It's not greedy to put money
into the pockets of Canadians.
Dawna: We're going to stop you there.
Ms. May: It destabilized the world, what you're proposing.
Dawna: We're going to stop you there so that we can hear
from another Canadian, please.
On the theme of affordability,
one of the many places Canadians are watching tonight
is in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Here's the scene at the Copper House Restaurant.
And earlier we heard a question on affordability
from Scott Marsden.
Hi, my name is Scott Marsden from Yellowknife.
My question is, what is your government going to do
about the growing crisis of income inequality
and affordability in Canada?
Dawna: Ms. May, first to you.
Ms. May: I've been in that restaurant.
Good to see you.
We must act for income equality.
We need to look at the fact that over the years,
the gap between the very wealthiest Canadians
and the average Canadian is continuing to expand.
We're calling for a tax commission.
We haven't had a proper tax commission
since the 1960s to examine our tax code,
to see if it's still progressive,
to find out if all these corporate boutique tax cuts
that have piled up one after the other
after successive governments is taking money away
from those Canadians who need it most
and allowing those who really have massive incomes
to continue, as many Auditor Generals have found,
to be treated by Canadian Revenue agencies as if
they have special status and don't have to pay
Dawna: Ms. May, thank you.
Mr. Blanchet: First, I must say that, if saying untrue
things at the end of time, is your way to do things,
collaboration might be done already.
However, about the issue.
If federal government was to respect jurisdiction
of provinces, it would take less time.
It would cost less money.
And provinces in Québec could do what they
have to do about health care.
Bring the money that is owed to Québec and provinces.
This is what has to be done.
The money should be given to provinces and Québec,
because it is mostly -- if not only their jurisdiction.
That helps people.
Dawna: Mr. Trudeau, to you.
The question is about income inequality
and what you would do?
Mr. Trudeau: We recognize that we need to help
people more directly.
That's why the first thing we did was lower taxes
for the middle class and raise them
on the wealthiest one percent.
We're moving again forward with a tax break
for low and middle income Canadians and
nothing for the wealthiest, unlike Mr. Scheer's
universal tax credit.
We're also moving forward by increasing the Canada
child benefit which has lifted hundreds of thousands
of families out of poverty.
By 15 percent for kids under one.
We're increasing the Old Age Security
for seniors over 75.
We're making sure students have an easier time
paying back their student debts by not having
to pay back until they're making $35,000 a year.
We're investing in Canadians.
Dawna: Mr. Trudeau, thank you.
Mr. Bernier, your turn.
Mr. Bernier: First of all, I think it is important
to be able to have a discussion about what is
important for Canadians.
We are the only party that will balance the budget
in two years.
All the other parties on this stage will spend
and spend and spend.
That is not a solution.
The credit card is full.
We will do that without cutting services.
We will cut corporate welfare.
All the corporate welfare.
$5 billion that we can save there.
All these political parties, the only promise they do,
they do everything to get your vote.
I promise you to do nothing except balancing the budget.
After that, lower your taxes.
That's the only responsible policy.
Dawna: Mr. Bernier, thanks.
Mr. Singh, to you.
Mr. Singh: I want to thank Scott for the question.
Income inequality is massive.
There is also massive wealth inequality.
And these are not just esoteric, academic discussions.
When those at the very top do not pay their fair share,
when 87 families in Canada have the combined wealth
of three provinces, it hurts families.
It means we don't have the funds to invest
in health care, it means we don'