Sep 9, 2021

Canada Federal Leaders Debate Justin Trudeau: 2021 Transcript

Canada Federal Leaders Debate Justin Trudeau: 2021 Transcript
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Full transcript of the 2021 Canada Federal Leaders’ Debate. The debate took place on September 9, 2021.

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Speaker 1: (00:00)
She was just scattering money around to build gazebos and fake lakes.

Speaker 2: (00:03)
The one you bought, you can’t build.

Speaker 9: (00:05)
You try it to open up the treaty, you can lose everything.

Speaker 3: (00:08)
And don’t try to paper over what’s happening in people’s lives.

Speaker 4: (00:11)
It’s still time for a change.

Speaker 5: (00:12)
We had to takeover the mess that you left us.

Speaker 6: (00:14)
It’s not economically disastrous, it’s a smart, economic thing to do.

Speaker 7: (00:18)
And an agreement between Quebec and Canada was always impossible.

Speaker 8: (00:22)
It’s very unclear Mr. [crosstalk 00:00:23] don’t use gobbledygook.

Shachi Kurl: (00:36)
Live from Gatineau, Quebec, this is the 2021 federal leaders debate. We’re coming to you from the Grand Hall in the Canadian Museum of History, on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabek people, a place for Canadians to reflect on the country’s past. But tonight, we are looking ahead to the future. Good evening, I’m Shachi Kurl, I’m the president of the Angus Reid Institute and tonight, I will be your moderator. Let’s welcome the party leaders. Justin Trudeau for the Liberal party, Erin O’Toole for the Conservative party. Yves-Francois Blanchet of the Bloc Quebecois.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:16)
A pleasure.

Shachi Kurl: (01:17)
Jagmeet Singh of the NDP. And Annamie Paul for the Greens. Welcome leaders.

Annamie Paul: (01:23)
Good evening.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:23)
Great to be here.

Shachi Kurl: (01:25)
Tonight’s event is being produced for the Leaders’ Debates Commission by a media partnership, including APTN News, CBC News, CTV News and Global News. The debate is also offered in 10 other languages, including Cree and Inuktitut, Dene, as well as described video and ASL. 20,000 Canadians have weighed-in telling us what they want to hear from the leaders and five themes have emerged, leadership and accountability, climate change, reconciliation, affordability, and COVID recovery. Tonight, four undecided voters and journalists, maybe the journalists are undecided as well, will be putting their questions directly to the leaders and you leaders, you’ve agreed to tonight’s rules and format. So before we begin, please answer the questions you’re asked, do not interrupt each other. I don’t want to cut you off, but I will if I have to. Okay? All right. Let’s get started.

Shachi Kurl: (02:38)
You will each get a different question and you have 45 seconds to answer, you all have a countdown clock. The theme is leadership and accountability. Your speaking order has been determined by draw, and Mr. Singh, you are first. Hi, Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (02:53)
Hi there.

Shachi Kurl: (02:55)
Mr. Singh, you are popular and you inspire many Canadians, but your platform is full of big promises. And when it comes to how you’ll pay for it all, there’s not a lot of details. Given this, how can Canadians know that you are really ready to lead?

Jagmeet Singh: (03:15)
I really appreciate the question and I want to say good evening to everyone tuning-in. There is a serious question that people are asking themselves in this election, they’re wondering who’s going to pay the price of this pandemic and the recovery. And we do have bold plans about how we can invest in people, but we are the only party with a credible plan that will not put the burden on people, that will not cut the help that they need. Unlike Mr. Trudeau and Mr. O’Toole, who voted against making the ultra rich pay their fair share. We believe, that billionaires should pay their fair share, we should end the loopholes and the offshore tax havens, that mean billions of dollars are lost that we are not able to invest in people. We want to put the burden on those that are at the very, very top, so we can invest in the solutions that people need. Tackling the climate crisis, investing in housing.

Shachi Kurl: (04:02)
All right, thank you, Mr. Singh. Next to you, Mr. Trudeau, because you wanted a new mandate, you plunged the country into an election, even as the pandemic spurs thousands of new cases. But over the last 18 months, opposition parties have largely stood with you putting the nation above politics. Why aren’t you doing the same? How can you justify an election at this time?

Justin Trudeau: (04:30)
Thank you, Miss Kurl. I think, first of all, I want to thank Canadians for being here tonight and making an important choice, and also quite frankly, for everything you’ve done over the past number of months to help get ourselves and our neighbors through this. Tonight, over the next couple of hours, you’re going to hear some very, very different and very strong ideas, that are radically different, about how we’re going to move forward through this pandemic to end it, how we’re going to build back better. Those decisions are going to be taken by your government now, in the coming weeks, this fall, not a year from now, not two years from now. And I know you want to go-

Shachi Kurl: (05:05)
Could it not have waited a few months Mr. Trudeau?

Justin Trudeau: (05:07)
I know you want to go harder and faster on vaccinations. I know you want to go harder and faster on climate change and you get to choose exactly that in this election.

Shachi Kurl: (05:16)
All right, that’s time. Thank you. Mr. Blanchet, to you, you deny that Quebec has problems with racism, yet you defend legislations such as Bills 96 and 21, which marginalized religious minorities, anglophones, and allophones. Quebec is recognized as a distinct society, but for those outside the province, please help them understand why your party also supports these discriminatory laws.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (05:44)
The question seems to imply the answer you want. Those laws are not about discrimination, they are about the values of Quebec. And may I remind you-

Shachi Kurl: (05:55)
And yet religious minorities, sir, cannot progress if they were their religious gear.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (06:00)
That Quebec is not recognized as a distinct society. It’s been recognized as a nation on June 16th, by the parliament. 281 votes said that Quebec is a nation, and everybody here seems to agree with that. No more distinct society, which never had any meeting anyway. Meaning not meeting.

Shachi Kurl: (06:24)
So again, why the discriminatory laws and your support for it sir?

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (06:28)
You may repeat as many times as you want that those are discriminatory laws, we are saying that those are legitimate laws that apply on Quebec territory. And there seems to be people around here who will share this point of view, which is again by itself for Quebec.

Shachi Kurl: (06:44)
All right. Thank you, Mr. Blanchet. Ms. Paul to you. For millions of voters this is the climate change election, but at this critical time, you’ve been bogged down in internal strife. If your own party doesn’t fully support you, how can Canadians trust you to lead through one of the most defining issues of our times?

Annamie Paul: (07:10)
It’s an excellent question, and it’s an honor to be here tonight on the unceded territories of the Algonquin peoples. It has been a very difficult period, and do I wish that our party had been further ahead, particularly at this moment? Absolutely. Do I believe that we have wonderful candidates running all over the country that you should consider voting for? Absolutely. Being who I am and in this position has been incredibly hard. Being here tonight was not an obvious thing, I’ve had to crawl over a lot of broken glass to get here. I’m proud to be here, I’m proud to be the first of my kind. And because I am the first of my kind, I know that I won’t be the last.

Shachi Kurl: (07:52)
Thank you Miss Paul. And to you, Mr. O’Toole. Mr. O’Toole, you recommend vaccinations, but you won’t make your candidates get them. You have a climate plan, but you won’t dump a candidate that shares climate conspiracies. You’re on record supporting the LGBTQ2 community, but you allowed half your MPS to vote against legislation, protecting them. Tell me, how can voters trust that it’s you and not your caucus that will be in charge of a conservative policy agenda.

Erin O’Toole: (08:23)
Well, thank you, Miss Kurl. I’m a new leader of the Conservative Party, and we have a plan to get the country back on its feet, after a difficult 18 months in this crisis. I’m a pro-choice ally to the LGBTQ community. That comes from my service in the military, where I served alongside people from all backgrounds, all orientations, putting the country first. And our platform, including a detailed plan on climate change, is about making sure we secure the future. Jobs, accountability, national leadership on mental health.

Shachi Kurl: (08:54)
So, is it you sir, or your caucus that’s driving the bus?

Erin O’Toole: (08:57)
I am driving the bus to make sure we get this country back on track. And I’m here to defend the rights of all Canadians, women members of the LGBTQ community, indigenous Canadians. I want to make sure we all secure a future together.

Shachi Kurl: (09:11)
Thank you, Mr. O’Toole. All right leaders, thank you, it is now time for our first face-to-face debate. Mr. Trudeau, Ms. Paul, you’re up, starting with Mr. Trudeau, based on this question. You call yourself a feminist, but on your watch, sexual misconduct in Canada’s armed forces continues to run rampant. Tell me, why are you allowing these unacceptable conditions to continue?

Justin Trudeau: (09:35)
I think we recognize that there are systems and institutions that need to change across the country. And that’s why from the very beginning, we stepped up with policies, new policy, stronger policies and processes to support every survivor. Everyone that comes forward, because nobody deserves to work in a workplace where they are being discriminated against, where they are being harassed or hassled. We have been unequivocal about that, my leadership has been unequivocal about that. Yes, these problems continue in workplaces across the country, particularly in the military, that’s unacceptable, which is why we’ve taken even stronger measures. It’s unsatisfactory to have to say, “We’re relying on process in this. We want to just be able to have easy answers.”

Shachi Kurl: (10:20)
Ms. Paul what is your response to that?

Justin Trudeau: (10:21)
But this is not an issue with easy answers. You have to fall back on process.

Annamie Paul: (10:25)
I have said before, and I’ll say again tonight, that I do not believe that Mr. Trudeau is a real feminist. A feminist doesn’t continue to push strong women out of his party, when they are just seeking to serve. And I will say their names tonight and thank them. Thank you, Jane Philpott. Thank you, Jody Wilson-Raybould. Thank you, Celina Caesar-Chavannes. And I’m here tonight, thanks to the work that you have done. I believe that if there were more women on this platform tonight and in previous years, that we in fact would have better laws in our military. We would have childcare at this point, we would have many of the things that we need. I am the only woman, other than Elizabeth May, to be on this platform. In the last 18 years, the Liberal Party has never had a woman leading.

Justin Trudeau: (11:14)
I think, Ms. Paul-

Annamie Paul: (11:15)
I think it’s time for the party to examine these priorities.

Justin Trudeau: (11:16)
I think, Ms. Paul, you’ll perhaps understand that I won’t take lessons on caucus management from you.

Annamie Paul: (11:20)
And I think that you know that I won’t take lessons from you, as you heard.

Justin Trudeau: (11:20)
I think what I will keep focused on, is making sure that our first woman finance minister has moved forward on child care. [crosstalk 00:11:29]

Shachi Kurl: (11:29)
All right, Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Trudeau, I’m sorry, that’s time, we have to move on. Mr. Blanchet, Mr. O’Toole and Mr. Singh, this next topic is for you to debate. Canada’s transition to a green economy, depends on pipelines. At a time when Ontario and Quebec face uncertain energy supply over line five, this country cannot extract nor distribute oil domestically. Our theme is leadership, tell me, which one of you is best to lead on these complex issues. Mr. Blanchet, per the draw, you begin.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (12:05)
I’m not very much interested in leading Canada. However, I am very much interested in making sure that Quebec is entitled to its own vision for the future. You know in Quebec, we do not have energy issues that much, because we are lucky. We are lucky, it’s a bit of luck, that we can produce green energy and a large amount, but the whole planet cannot afford this idea. This very Canadian idea, this very conservative idea. And as far as I know, this very liberal idea that we have to produce more oil, export more oil, believing that the money from it will reduce gas emissions, which won’t happen.

Erin O’Toole: (12:44)
All Canadian families deserve an economic recovery, including families in Western Canada that feel left out after six years of Mr. Trudeau. When it comes to leadership, our natural resources sector is a leader in environmental, social governance. Anytime Canadian resources are removed from the global supply chain, you know who fills that gap? Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia, all of these organizations and companies are getting their emissions down. Let’s get emissions down and Canadian resources to market so that we can have jobs, opportunity and fight climate change.

Shachi Kurl: (13:18)
Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (13:18)
When it comes to leadership on fighting this essential crisis, one of the biggest crisis we’re up against, we’ve got a difficult choice for Canadians. You’ve got on one side, someone who doesn’t believe there’s a crisis. And then on the other, you got Mr. Trudeau who doesn’t act like there’s a crisis. And what it’s going to take is real leadership because the solutions are there. We can invest in green energy, clean energy, we can invest in renewable energy-

Erin O’Toole: (13:42)
Mr. Singh, a real leader doesn’t give up on tens of thousands of workers across the country.

Jagmeet Singh: (13:44)
Never, we’ll never give up on workers. But Mr. O’Toole, we’re a party-

Erin O’Toole: (13:45)
Workers that are working hard for their family. [crosstalk 00:13:48]

Shachi Kurl: (13:47)
Okay, one at a time, gentlemen. Mr. O’Toole, then back to you, Mr. Singh. Mr. O’Toole, then Mr. Singh.

Erin O’Toole: (13:54)
I want to see Canadians get back to work, in all sectors and in all regions. And I’m proud of what we produce in our country, whether it’s our resources with the resources in the heads of our young people.

Jagmeet Singh: (14:03)
These workers-

Erin O’Toole: (14:03)
We need workers to get emissions down-

Jagmeet Singh: (14:05)
Mr. O’Toole-

Erin O’Toole: (14:06)
And get our energy to market.

Jagmeet Singh: (14:07)
These workers need a plan that’s going to create jobs for the future, and that’s a responsibility of government. We’ve seen six years of Mr. Trudeau and workers can’t afford another four years. What we need to do, is invest in a diversified economy, clean energy. We need to electrify transportation.

Erin O’Toole: (14:22)
We can.

Jagmeet Singh: (14:22)
We need to invest in retrofitting homes and buildings. We need to create good jobs for workers now.

Erin O’Toole: (14:30)
We have an incredible innovation plan. But we need [crosstalk 00:14:30] an economic recovery in all sectors.

Jagmeet Singh: (14:30)
That have field workers. [crosstalk 00:14:31]

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (14:31)
Leadership is not only-

Shachi Kurl: (14:32)
Last word to you, Mr. Blanchet. Last word to you sir.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (14:34)
Leadership is not only saying the words, it’s proposing solutions, admitting a problem, which they’re not doing.

Shachi Kurl: (14:41)
All right, thank you. My next question is for all of you. We’ve had some encouraging news out of Kabul overnight with the escape of 43 Canadians, that said, thousands of people who helped Canada during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan have been left behind in their hour of need. And it is unknown if we will ever get them all out. To each of you, what would you have done differently? Mr. O’Toole, per the draw, you begin.

Erin O’Toole: (15:13)
Canada should never leave behind people that are at risk because they helped us. When Afghanistan was falling, there were 1200 Canadians and hundreds more translators and others, waiting for help from Canada. What did Mr. Trudeau do? You called an election, sir. You put your own political interests ahead of the wellbeing of thousands of people. Leadership is about putting others first, not yourself. Mr. Trudeau, you should not have called this election, you should have gotten the job done in Afghanistan.

Justin Trudeau: (15:41)
Mr. O’Toole, as of the beginning-

Shachi Kurl: (15:43)
Hold on, hold on, this is not open debate leaders. This is a situation where we’re asking a question to each of you. No problem, Mr. Trudeau, I’m I’m trying to keep track myself.

Erin O’Toole: (15:53)
I would like him, Miss Kurl, because he called an election in the fourth wave of a pandemic, with fires in British Columbia and with unfinished business in Afghanistan, Mr. Trudeau.

Shachi Kurl: (16:02)
All right, thank you, Mr. O’Toole. I’m going to give the opportunity next per the draw, to Mr. Singh. You guys will have tons of time to debate, so hang tight. Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (16:11)
Sadly, what’s happened in Afghanistan is a tragedy, that was something we knew about. We knew about the withdrawal date, we knew from President Biden, what that date would be. And sadly, I agree with Mr. O’Toole on this one point, that it was a bad decision to call an election while this crisis was going on. Particularly, because we’ve got allies on the ground that put their lives at risk to support our Canadian forces, who are now looking at peril for the lives and may never get out of Afghanistan. We know the impact on women and girls in Afghanistan, it’s heartbreaking, and it could have been avoided. Veterans had told Mr. Trudeau and his government for a long time, that the current approach was not working. Those calls were not heeded, and as a result, we’re in this really horrible situation, it could have been avoided.

Shachi Kurl: (16:57)
Thank you, Mr. Singh. Mr. Blanchet.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (16:58)
First good news, I seemed to understand from what I read a few hours ago, that Kabul airport is now being open for some people to get out of the country, which is very good news. This should have been worked a long, long time ago. I agree with Mr. O’Toole that Mr. Trudeau should have put those people’s interests before his own. However, the problem is, that Canada has failed many times to create some strong partnerships with other countries in order to be stronger facing a situation like Afghanistan now, because by itself, we must admit, Canada is not a world power.

Shachi Kurl: (17:34)
Thank you, Mr. Blanchet. Mr. Trudeau, I invite you to respond now.

Justin Trudeau: (17:38)
Thank you, Ms. Kurl. It’s unfortunate to hear the leaders on this stage talking down the incredible work that our Canadian armed forces that are diplomats, that our consular officials did. From the beginning of the summer to ensure that as of the very beginning of August, well before this election, we were getting flights out of Afghanistan. We got 3700 people out of Afghanistan. And over the past weeks we’ve been working with the Qataris, for example, on exactly that good news that we’ve seen of more people, more Canadians getting out of Afghanistan. We work closely with our allies because we know a Canadian sacrificed in Afghanistan for a better future. We need to stand by the people who helped us, who helped themselves and we will, with even more people coming to Canada in the coming months.

Shachi Kurl: (18:26)
All right, Mr. Trudeau. Ms. Paul.

Annamie Paul: (18:29)
As a former diplomat and with a husband who provided advice on the peace negotiations in Afghanistan, we were hearing the stories all the time in the months leading up that this was foreseeable. And so, it seems like we got better information on our smartphones than Mr. Trudeau got from our entire intelligence service, based on what he’s saying. The thing is, that when people count on you, when you make a promise to them, then you do it so that people can count on Canada’s word. When someone is your partner, you go with them, you go for them or you don’t amount to much. And so, leaving behind people in Afghanistan, walking up to in Rideau Hall and calling an election under these circumstances, was not the right thing to do. And to borrow a line from Mr. Singh from 2019, Mr. Trudeau could just say, “Hey man, I messed up.”

Shachi Kurl: (19:17)
All right, Ms. Paul, thank you very much. Thank you all. And now it is our time for a first attempt at open debate. Jumping off of this question, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, have been in Chinese prisons for 1004 days. The next prime minister has key decisions to make about our already tense relationship with China, such as telecommunications security and foreign investment. Some say this all comes down to a trade off between Canada’s economic growth and recognition of human rights. I’d like to know where you all stand. I’m sure you want to exchange on that. Mr. Singh, per the draw, you begin, leaders, you may jump in.

Jagmeet Singh: (20:00)
Thank you very much. We know that … We can’t imagine what it is for Mr. Spavor and Mr. Kovrig to be going through a thousand plus days in a prison without access to human rights. I can’t imagine what their friends and their families are going through right now. All I know is, we have to do everything possible to secure the release of these two Canadians. We need to work with our allies, apply pressure and make sure that we return these Canadians home. That’s what we’ve got to do.

Justin Trudeau: (20:26)
And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. Over the past three years, we have worked with international allies to put pressure on China in every single one of their meetings. We’ve worked closely with the United States. We, at the G7, a few weeks ago, worked with the international community to make sure we’re moving forward on challenging China where necessary in human rights, competing with them economically-

Erin O’Toole: (20:47)
Mr. Trudeau-

Justin Trudeau: (20:48)
Where we need to, and holding them to account on the rule of law as a global community and Canada’s voice has been very strong on that.

Erin O’Toole: (20:56)
Canada’s voice has been absent, Mr. Trudeau, we have not worked with our allies on Huawei. We have not stood up for the 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong. We’ve not fought for the two Michaels and put pressure on the communist regime. We have not stood up for human rights. Sir, you did not show up for a vote, declaring a genocide towards the weaker people, you didn’t show up. Canada is the country that was leading the fight against apartheid, we created the UN human rights code. We should be leaders for our values, sir, and you’ve let the Michaels down and we have to get serious with China.

Justin Trudeau: (21:32)
If you want to let the Michaels and get the Michael’s home, you do not simply lob tomatoes across the Pacific. That is what Mr. Harper tried for a number of years, and didn’t get anywhere. You need to engage in sophisticated ways-

Erin O’Toole: (21:44)
You work with our allies.

Justin Trudeau: (21:44)
With our allies, every step of the way and put that pressure on-

Erin O’Toole: (21:47)
You have to take the same position on Huawei-

Justin Trudeau: (21:49)
And that’s exactly what we have-

Erin O’Toole: (21:52)
On steel. [crosstalk 00:21:52]

Justin Trudeau: (21:52)
Done every step of the time.

Shachi Kurl: (21:52)
All right, Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (21:52)
Cyber security, Mr. Trudeau, we are out of step and our allies are wondering where Canada’s gone. You started as prime minister, saying you admired China. [crosstalk 00:22:01].

Annamie Paul: (22:01)
If I could-

Shachi Kurl: (22:03)
I’m coming to you. Ms. Paul, just a second. I want to get to Mr. Singh and then to you, Ms. Paul.

Jagmeet Singh: (22:07)
I appreciate, thank you very much, the opportunity. I want to also talk … we’re talking about leadership and accountability. And in this pandemic, one of the moments I think, of leadership that has been a failure, is the fact that when we talk about leadership, it means finding solutions. And in our long-term care homes here in Canada, we saw the worst conditions in the for-profit-

Shachi Kurl: (22:24)
Mr. Singh, we’re going to have time to chat with that later. The topic is China, human rights and economic growth. To you, Ms. Paul.

Annamie Paul: (22:31)
Yes. And this is an area, where certainly lines are being redrawn all across the world. And the main thing that Canada is going to have going forward in terms of currency, is its word. When we make a promise, we have to keep those promises. That’s how, when we need help, we get it. My mom grew up on a farm in a small community, and she learned very young and taught us that you have to give your word to your neighbors and they have to be able to count on it, so that when you need help, they’re there for you. And so, when we don’t show up, when we’re asked for vaccines from COVAX, and then we take vaccines from COVAX. When the weaker ask us for help to declare a genocide, and we don’t do that. When we don’t show up on the climate by setting targets that are ambitious, but at the same time in line with our international partners and do our fair share, than our word doesn’t count for much. And then, it makes it very hard for us to help people like the Michaels when they need us the most.

Shachi Kurl: (23:28)
Mr. Blanchet, did you want to get in on this?

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (23:31)
Throwing tomatoes might not be the solution, but I would submit humbly, that doing nothing might not be the solution either. Mr. Trudeau’s record on human rights is not perfect. We might name the two Michaels, we might name [foreign language 00:23:44], we might name Taiwan, Hong Kong, we might name Catalonia and Mr. [foreign language 00:23:49]. We might name the worst of all-

Erin O’Toole: (23:51)
Mr. Blanchet-

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (23:52)
[foreign language 00:23:52], being still held in Saudi Arabia because Canada wants to sell weapons and military supply to Saudi Arabia. Which is [crosstalk 00:24:00].

Shachi Kurl: (24:00)
Okay. Okay, gentlemen, one at a time.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (24:06)
I will finish. Two seconds. The parliament voted unanimously to give citizenship to [foreign language 00:24:10] but we nothing has been done afterward.

Shachi Kurl: (24:13)
All right. Whoa, Mr. O’Toole, Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Singh. Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (24:17)
Mr. Blanchet is correct. Canada’s needed back on the world stage. We may be smaller than China with respect to population and economy, but we are a giant when it comes to our commitments to human rights, to dignity and to the rule of law. And we have to start working with our allies, to take a more serious approach for human rights, standing up for our workers on fair trade and making sure that our voice is a principled one on the world stage again.

Justin Trudeau: (24:41)
The problem with Mr. O’Toole and his principles is, he says all the right sounding things, and he’s working on reassuring everyone that he’s right there as a strong leader, but he can’t convince his candidates to get vaccinated, he can’t convince his MPs to follow [crosstalk 00:24:56].

Shachi Kurl: (25:02)
All right, let’s keep the theme. Mr. Singh, you wanted to get in. I’m giving the last word … I’m giving the last word to Mr. Singh. Mr. Trudeau, please, to you, Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (25:03)
Leadership means standing up. It means standing up for the weaker in China. It means standing up to defend people around the world and it also means showing leadership when it comes to fighting the climate crisis. We’ve got the worst record under Mr. Trudeau, in the G7. So that’s not leadership, certainly not.

Shachi Kurl: (25:16)
All right, thank you very much. Thank you leaders. We are now moving onto our next theme, which is climate change.

Shachi Kurl: (25:27)
All right. This time, we’re starting with a question from Trevor McMullen. He is a high school teacher in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. He’s standing by, Trevor, what’s your question?

Trevor McMullen: (25:41)
Hey, good evening. As leader, what immediate actions would you take, to make green technology more accessible and affordable, so that everyday Canadians don’t have to bear the financial burden of being environmentally ethical?

Shachi Kurl: (25:54)
All right. Thank you, Trevor. Leaders, you’ve heard Trevor’s question. Ms. Paul, you’re going first.

Annamie Paul: (26:02)
Thank you so much for that question. And it, Trevor, that’s exactly where your head should be at, that’s where all of our heads should be at. How can we use this opportunity to seize the moment to create a green economy? How can we incentivize every single person in Canada, every company, and every enterprise to adopt green technologies? How can we become a global leader? And so absolutely, if you look at our platform, you will see that we propose incentives all the way from buying electric cars, new and used, to retrofitting homes, to all of these items that will help make life easier for you and help for you to do your part. But this is a national and international issue. We need national leadership on it and we need it across party lines.

Shachi Kurl: (26:48)
Thank you, Ms. Paul. Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (26:50)
Thank you. Thank you, Trevor, I really appreciate the question. And I’m sure you speak to a lot of young people as a teacher, and are seeing the fear in their eyes, the worry and the desperation that young people have, because they don’t know what type of future they’re going to inherit. And they’re worried about the impacts of the climate crisis because it’s hurting us now, and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t do anything about it. And to invest in that future, we need to make choices. And right now, we look at the choices Mr. Trudeau has made over the past six years. He has promised to end fossil fuel subsidies, but instead of ending them, he has increased them to $900 million per year. That is money we could spend on investing in clean technology, in making it easier for people to access that type technology and to do our part, to fight the climate crisis. So it’s a matter of choices, we can’t afford another four years of Mr. Trudeau’s choices.

Shachi Kurl: (27:39)
Thank you, Mr. Singh. To you, Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (27:41)
Thank you for the question, Trevor. I was raised by two strong women who were teachers, and they told me to be straight up. This is an area where the conservatives, we had to win back some trust. We hadn’t met the expectations of Canadians on climate change. It’s an important issue for me as a father of a high schooler and we talk about it all the time. That’s why in April, long before the election, I put out a substantial package pricing carbon to meet our Paris targets. And what’s interesting, our low carbon savings account will allow people to actually make green choices to lower their carbon footprint. This approach is innovative because it would allow all Canadians to know what their carbon footprint is and make those innovative investments to lower it. I think we all have a role to play and our plan is detailed and we’ll deliver on it.

Shachi Kurl: (28:27)
Mr. Blanchet.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (28:28)
Thank you to be with us, sir, I hope you appreciate a little bit blunt answers. First you cap, you put a ceiling on any production of oil and gas. You take all the money that the federal government is placing into that industry, even more by the liberals and the conservatives before and you put that into green energy. And you take the money for Trans Mountain, and you give it to Alberta for Alberta to initiate its own transition toward a greener economy. This is the way to do things, because if we don’t do that and keep dreaming about reducing gas emission, while increasing production, we will never get there.

Shachi Kurl: (29:10)
Thank you, Mr. Blanchet. Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (29:13)
Thank you Trevor, for your question. And from one teacher to another, I know that you need to ground your decisions and what you share with your students in science. And all these leaders on here have various claims about what their climate change plan is going to do. Unfortunately, if you look at what the experts and the climate scientists and the economists have said, we’re the ones with the strongest plan to fight climate change. And how to answer your question specifically, how to make it more affordable for Canadians? Well, the first thing we did on that, was bring in a national price on pollution that incentivizes businesses to go cleaner, at the same time, as it puts more money in family’s pockets. We are going to put a cap on oil sands and oil and gas emissions, and decline it until net zero and create those opportunities and investments, that are going to make it more affordable for you and your students for many years to come, Trevor.

Shachi Kurl: (30:02)
Thank you, Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (30:03)
For you and your students for many years to come.

Shachi Kurl: (30:03)
Thank you, Mr. Trudeau. Thank you, Trevor. Have a good evening. I’m turning it back to the leaders. It is time for more debate. The draw has Mr. Trudeau and Mr. O’Toole facing off. Your topic is climate change. Even today, one in four Canadians don’t believe that climate change is caused by human activity. How can we achieve real progress when so many people are still debating the fundamentals? Mr. O’Toole, you begin.

Erin O’Toole: (30:34)
Climate change is a real threat, not only to Canada and to the world. That’s why we have to take a serious plan to tackle it. That’s why, as I said, we put our plan out in April because we had to restore some trust on this issue to make sure we can show Canadians we can get emissions down and get the economy working again. That is key. We have a plan to meet our Paris targets, but minimize the impact on jobs and investment. We’re also going to make major investments in electric vehicles, in the hydrogen economy, small modular reactors. There are so much we can do to get our emissions down, but grow a strong economy because without a strong economy, we can’t tackle climate change. We can’t tackle the issues of [crosstalk 00:31:16]-

Justin Trudeau: (31:16)
Okay, but to the reality that Mr O’Toole has never understood is you can’t have a strong economy unless you tackle climate change. You ask about how we’re going to convince the quarter of Canadians who still don’t think climate change is real? Well, Mr. O’Toole can’t even convince his party that climate change is real because they voted against that. That’s perhaps why his plan is so weak. His plan is to go back to the Harper targets, to the Harper approach on fighting climate change, which doesn’t work. His cost at platform, which you just put out last night cuts $2 billion …

Erin O’Toole: (31:44)
Mr. Trudeau, you have never made a target.

Justin Trudeau: (31:46)
… From climate investments and from things and for our friends in BC …

Erin O’Toole: (31:51)
You have never made a target … Miss [crosstalk 00:31:53]-

Shachi Kurl: (31:54)
Let him respond, Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (31:56)
… Mr. O’Toole has proposed to restore the Northern Gateway Pipeline …

Shachi Kurl: (31:57)
Mr. Trudeau, let Mr. O’Toole respond. To you, Mr. O’Toole.

Justin Trudeau: (31:59)
… Through the Great Bear Forest and through the Trent Tanker [inaudible 00:32:02].

Erin O’Toole: (32:02)
Thank you, Miss [inaudible 00:32:02]. Mr. Trudeau Always forgets one fact. He has never made a target for climate change. He has great ambition. That’s part of the reason we’re in an election in a pandemic is his ambition. He doesn’t have achievement. He never meets this target, so we have a plan …

Justin Trudeau: (32:16)
The target is in 2030 …

Erin O’Toole: (32:16)
… That we will meet the target and get our country back to work.

Justin Trudeau: (32:17)
… So it’s actually quite difficult to meet a target that’s nine years away. Except for the fact that right now we are on track to beat our target, 36% over that target.

Erin O’Toole: (32:23)
You’ve never made a target, Mr. Trudeau.

Shachi Kurl: (32:24)
Gentlemen, we have to wrap this segment. All right. We are moving on. We are moving on, leaders. Next up is Mr. Singh, Mr. Blanchet, and Miss Paul. I’d like each of you to describe how you’ll implement a national approach that best recognizes the significant regional differences involved in fighting climate change. You begin Mr. Singh, you may jump in one at a time, please.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (32:48)
Of course.

Jagmeet Singh: (32:49)
Well, here’s the thing. We just heard Mr. O’Toole And Mr. Trudeau argue about who’s worse. Honestly, it’s a tough question to answer. Let me tell you, you’re not stuck with these two. Better is possible. We can invest in a clean economy. We can end fossil fuel subsidies. We can make sure we’re creating clean transportation and we can invest in provinces and territories to make sure they have the resources necessary to fight the climate crisis. I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic. I’m going to be a dad soon, and I want to make sure my child grows up into a future that has the same opportunities that I had that has clean air, clean water, a clean place to live. I want to make sure that that [crosstalk 00:33:29]-

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (33:28)
As far as I understand it, it is not national or even less original issue. It is a planetary issue and it has to be tackled by everybody at once, but I would be glad to give some of my precious time to Mr. O’Toole because a week ago, a little more than that, he said in French that he did not want anymore to have a pipeline to go through Quebec. That was quite a statement. He said that in French, no more pipeline through Quebec. I want to hear that in English tonight, please, please.

Erin O’Toole: (34:03)
[crosstalk 00:34:03].

Shachi Kurl: (34:03)
Hold on, hold on. This this segment is-

Erin O’Toole: (34:06)
If he’s giving time, I’ll take time.

Annamie Paul: (34:07)
Quite frankly, this-

Erin O’Toole: (34:09)
We’re not going to let that happen.

Annamie Paul: (34:10)
This on the climate, this sort of approach is going to get us nowhere, and a global issue, this is a national issue. This is a non-partisan issue. We have got to be able to come together across party lines. I wanted, I said that I was available for a debate just on the climate because it’s that important. We’ve invited many times all of the parties to join us in a joint cabinet, a cross party cabinet to deal with this, the way that we dealt with the pandemic. Together. People were so inspired to see these leaders come together in the early days of the pandemic. We have got to bring that same approach here. Let’s come together because that’s what’s needed.

Jagmeet Singh: (34:50)
We do.

Shachi Kurl: (34:50)
Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (34:50)
Thank you very much. I absolutely agree. We do need to come together. I can lay out what we shouldn’t do and what we need to do. What we shouldn’t do is what Mr. Trudeau did. Set targets and missed them. We shouldn’t promise to end fossil fuel subsidies and then increase them. We shouldn’t put a price on pollution and then exempt the biggest polluters. What we need to do is end those fossil fuel subsidies, invest in provinces and territories with infrastructure that’s going to help us fight the climate crises, and we’re going to make sure …

Annamie Paul: (35:14)
With the greatest of respect to Mr. Singh.

Shachi Kurl: (35:19)
Hold on, Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (35:19)
… We’ll make sure-

Shachi Kurl: (35:19)
Let Miss Paul respond.

Annamie Paul: (35:20)
With the greatest of respect to Mr. Singh, we have been making this invitation for years and it has never been accepted by the NDP or any other party, so it’s great to hear that they agree but-

Shachi Kurl: (35:29)
All right, we have to wrap this section now, leaders. It is time for me with great pleasure to welcome Mercedes Stevenson of Global News. She is joining us now, and she’s going to be asking each of you a direct question on climate change. This round starts with Mr. Trudeau. Hi Mercedes.

Mercedes Stevenson: (35:46)
Hi, thank you so much for having me. Hello candidates. It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to ask you about a question that is on a lot of Canadians’ minds. The question of climate change. Mr. Trudeau, starting with you, on your watch Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions have gone up every year since 2016, giving this country the worst emissions reduction record in the G7. According to the most recent data from your government, Canada’s emissions in 2019 were just as high as they were 15 years ago. Environmentalist say that your performance is insufficient. If you’re so serious about climate change, why are Canada’s emissions still going up?

Justin Trudeau: (36:24)
Well, we inherited a government from conservatives that did not believe in the fight against climate change, and we had a lot of catching up to do, but what we were able to do in six years is bring in national price on pollution, ban single-use plastics, move forward in protecting more of our coasts and oceans and rivers than any government in history. We are right now on track to exceeding those 2030 targets set at the beginning at Paris down to 36%. We’ve gone even further with that with a concrete plan that the experts have said is the only one that can achieve a 40% reduction …

Mercedes Stevenson: (37:02)
Which they say you’re unlikely to meet.

Justin Trudeau: (37:04)
… That is what we’re dealing with.

Mercedes Stevenson: (37:06)
Okay. Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Blanchet.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (37:08)

Mercedes Stevenson: (37:09)
Your party often criticizes the oil and gas industry in Canada’s Western provinces. You’ve said that you would block pipelines trying to go through Quebec. Well, you were the environment minister though, you allowed oil exploration and carbon intensive projects without environmental assessment. Why the double standard and what do you say to Canadians who feel that you’re blocking their prosperity?

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (37:31)
There were three issues that have been raised since I’ve been into this election. First one is having reversed the line B line of Enbridge, which has been reversed a few years sooner without any evaluation or anything. Second one is a project in [inaudible 00:37:50], which already had been submitted to an evaluation and environmental evaluation. The other one was to add an environmental. I will come to that. Evaluation after the exploration, this is all a buildup made by the previously environmentalists, even Guilbeault from the [foreign language 00:38:13], which the Prime Minister did not even know about when he attacked me with it. My record is also, I’ve been having signed the carbon market with California, which is still considered the best way to tackle the gas emission through incentives and tariffs around, I wouldn’t say the world, at least North America.

Shachi Kurl: (38:36)
All right, Mr. Blanchet, that is time. Mercedes, your next question,

Mercedes Stevenson: (38:38)
Mr. O’Toole you’re next. Under your plan, Canada would abandon its current climate target. Instead you would settle for a weaker one. In fact, it’s one set six years ago by Steven Harper. World leaders are meeting this fall to ratchet up their commitments on climate change on the global stage. Yet you would walk ours back. You’ve said that climate change is real and you’ve endorsed carbon pricing, but your target is the lowest of all of the major parties who are here tonight. Why should Canadians settle for your plan and a plan that would take our targets back in time?

Erin O’Toole: (39:13)
Because Canadians deserve to have a plan and leadership to make the targets. Mr. Trudeau went to Paris, the targets I’m talking about making are the ones he signed on to. Then for six years, did not make them. He likes to blame everyone else, but himself for action. What we did, because as I said, Mercedes, we have to build trust on this issue. We went out and worked with the top consultancy in the country to come up with a plan to price carbon, to get our emissions down to meet Paris, but to also get people back to work. After COVID-19 with half trillion dollars worth of debt put on by Mr. Trudeau with a cost of living crisis, we also need to have a strong economy to get our emissions down.

Mercedes Stevenson: (39:52)
If this is such a crisis, why not be more aggressive?

Erin O’Toole: (39:54)
We will make our emission targets, and I think it’s important for Canada to have a plan to meet what it signs onto internationally.

Mercedes Stevenson: (40:03)
Miss Paul of the Green Party, obviously, environment, a big focus in your plan calls for a 60% reduction in Canada’s emissions by the year 2030. Other countries that are making that commitment don’t face the same challenges that we do here in Canada. We live in a cold, Northern, sprawling country and our economy is still relies on resource extraction, much of which you’ve said you would shut down completely in your platform. How would you offset the economic harm that would result from meeting such an aggressive target?

Annamie Paul: (40:34)
Thanks for the question. First, let me say that when I think about our future, and I think about the future of energy, Canada will remain an energy superpower, but we will be a renewable energy superpower. I think about my brother who was a roughneck out on the oil patch until the bust during the pandemic. I think about his future. I know that we have got to diversify our economy, but I tell the people of Canada today that what happens next is really up to you. We can keep moving towards a mirage and that is what these promises are, a mirage that’s just out there in the distance that we never arrive at, or you can send people back to Ottawa from every single party who are committed to working together across party lines on the greatest existential challenge of our time, and seizing the opportunity of a truly green recovery.

Mercedes Stevenson: (41:25)
Mr. Singh, you accused the Trudeau government of being all talk and no action when it comes to climate change. Yet you won’t even give Canadians a straight answer on whether or not you would cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. You’ve had years as NDP leader to develop a climate plan. Your platform has lots of big ideas and big targets, but almost no details on how you would get there. Don’t you owe Canadians a clear answer on your climate roadmap and will you provide one tonight?

Jagmeet Singh: (41:54)
Absolutely, and I’m honored to do so. We’ve got a bold plan that’s going to take a lot of courage, that requires lots of investment, because we know how serious this crisis is. We know what we’re up against. Unlike Mr. Trudeau, we’re not going to blame previous governments. We know that in power, we have the power to make a change and if we vote for the same things, we’re going to get the same results. I want Canadians to know you have a choice. We are committed to ending-

Mercedes Stevenson: (42:18)
What is your plan, sir?

Jagmeet Singh: (42:18)
We’ll lay some of it out. One of it is to end fossil fuel subsidies. Use that to invest in clean energy. We would make sure we prioritize investing in electrified transportation. We would invest in retrofitting homes and buildings to reduce our emissions. There is so much that we can do. We are confident we can do it, but there is a cost. If we continue down the same path of a conservative or liberals who don’t take this seriously, you have a choice.

Shachi Kurl: (42:44)
All right, thank you. Now, it is time for open debate. Mercedes is going to keep you leaders on theme. I’m going to keep you on time and make sure everyone has a chance to be heard. Miss Paul, we’re starting with you. Back to you, Mercedes.

Mercedes Stevenson: (42:59)
Thank you. Canadians want their government to fight climate change, but they also worry about the cost for their families, and we know there will be a cost to this. Why should Canadians trust your party to see us through?

Annamie Paul: (43:14)
There is a global green rush going on now to create the competitive green economy of the future. What the greens don’t want to see is Canada being left behind because that is exactly what’s happening. I’m sure that the last candle maker was the person that had the market cornered on candle making, but if everyone has moved on to LED lights, then you’re in trouble. What we want to see is us seizing this opportunity and Mercedes to your earlier question, if Denmark and Greenland, other cold countries can end oil exploration, then certainly we can do it. If 27 countries in the European Union can come together collaboratively to have an ambitious plan for the climate, then surely with leadership, we can do the same here in Canada. I know Canada can do anything that any other country can do.

Jagmeet Singh: (44:04)
Absolutely. I think we absolutely can.

Erin O’Toole: (44:06)
If any type of energy is removed from the global market, Canadian energy, it’s replaced by a bad actor country that doesn’t have carbon reduction programs. It doesn’t have human rights. It doesn’t have engagement with indigenous communities. Indigenous partnerships in natural resources is huge. You said the cost, there are tens of thousands of jobs that deserve an economic recovery just as much as anyone else. There are indigenous partnerships, economic reconciliation, and a move towards a maiden Canada net zero by 2050. Let’s be leaders in getting carbon emissions down and being world leaders on how we have natural resources, whether it’s energy, timber, rarer minerals for EV.

Jagmeet Singh: (44:51)
Let’s talk about the cost.

Erin O’Toole: (44:52)
We can be world leaders again.

Mercedes Stevenson: (44:53)
Mr. Singh. Mr. O’Toole, let Mr. Singh respond.

Jagmeet Singh: (44:53)
Let’s talk about the cost. The cost of inaction is an entire town of Litton being wiped out by a climate forest fire. The cost of inaction is forest fires and flooding, and heat waves that mean Canadians lose their lives. The cost of not acting means a young woman I met in Hamilton who looked me in the eyes and said, “What’s the point of me pursuing my education? What’s the point of me finding a partner, even starting a family when I don’t know what type of future I’ll live in, let alone my child?” That’s the cost of inaction. That’s the cost of Mr. Trudeau who had six years to do something about this. It’s not two years. It’s not a small mandate.

Justin Trudeau: (45:29)
Again, Mr. Singh-

Jagmeet Singh: (45:32)
Six years, and he failed you, the cost, all of us.

Justin Trudeau: (45:36)

Mercedes Stevenson: (45:36)
Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (45:36)
Again, when we talk about a climate crisis, we have to deal in facts. One of the facts I need to correct right now that everyone has laid into is we have not missed any of our targets. We are on track to exceeding our targets and it’s important that we [crosstalk 00:45:49] facts.

Jagmeet Singh: (45:52)
What are you talking about? My friend, that makes no sense at all.

Justin Trudeau: (45:52)
Secondly, I do have a question for Mr. Singh. We need to talk about science. We need to talk about experts. We agree on that. You and I both. How is it that the experts that have rated our plan on climate to be an A, have rated your plan to be an F?

Annamie Paul: (46:05)
Who are these experts? The experts?

Jagmeet Singh: (46:06)
I rate your track record an F, Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (46:09)
No, no, no, not you.

Jagmeet Singh: (46:09)
You had six years. I rate you-

Justin Trudeau: (46:10)
You don’t get the rate. No, no, no, politicians.

Jagmeet Singh: (46:11)
Not just me.

Justin Trudeau: (46:13)
Experts. Why did the experts give you an F on your climate plan?

Jagmeet Singh: (46:20)
You’re talking about the future, let’s talk about right now.

Shachi Kurl: (46:23)
All right, let Mr. Singh respond, Mr. Trudeau.

Jagmeet Singh: (46:23)
Let me respond to this. Let’s talk.

Justin Trudeau: (46:23)
Why did they give you an F?

Jagmeet Singh: (46:24)
You’re talking about the future. Let’s talk about right now. You had six years.

Justin Trudeau: (46:25)
Why did you get an F on climate?

Jagmeet Singh: (46:26)
Let me finish. Let me finish. You’ve got the worst track record in all the G7 after six years. How can people trust you? How can people [crosstalk 00:46:34]-

Justin Trudeau: (46:34)
Why didn’t you move forward an ambition [crosstalk 00:46:37] plan? He didn’t answer.

Shachi Kurl: (46:37)
All right, Mr. Singh, Mr. Trudeau, then Miss Paul, then Mr. Blanchet.

Justin Trudeau: (46:41)
Why did he get an F on his climate plan?

Jagmeet Singh: (46:44)
I don’t accept that, first of all. I don’t accept at all. We’ve got [crosstalk 00:46:44] plan, and a strong plan.

Annamie Paul: (46:44)
Time’s a wasting.

Shachi Kurl: (46:45)
Hold on, Miss Paul. Mr. Singh, thank you very much. Mr. Trudeau.

Jagmeet Singh: (46:48)
You get heated about these things, right? No pun intended.

Justin Trudeau: (46:48)
He cannot explain why his plan …

Jagmeet Singh: (46:52)
We’ve got a strong plan.

Justin Trudeau: (46:53)
… Is being panned by experts. Now, every politician up here says, “We have the best plan.” We actually have a record.

Jagmeet Singh: (46:59)
[crosstalk 00:46:59].

Shachi Kurl: (46:59)
Mr. Singh.

Justin Trudeau: (46:59)
What Mercedes question was, how do we make sure it’s affordable? We brought in a price on pollution across the country that puts more money back in the pockets in the provinces where it had to be imposed because conservative politicians fought against it every step of the way.

Shachi Kurl: (47:15)
Miss Paul.

Jagmeet Singh: (47:15)
And exempts the biggest polluters.

Shachi Kurl: (47:16)
Miss Paul.

Annamie Paul: (47:16)
With the greatest of respect, I think the five PhDs and our shadow cabinet who put together our Green Recovery Policy would disagree with you, with the experts, but I do want to say more generally that again, this is getting us nowhere. We have got to be able to come together across party lines, not only to face the existential crisis that Mr. Singh described, but also to seize the greatest economic opportunity that Canada has seen within our lifetimes. We are being left behind, and if the United States can do it, if the European Union can do it, I know that we can do it. It’s about a change in the culture.

Shachi Kurl: (47:57)
All right. Thank you, Miss Paul. Mr. Blanchet, did you want to get in?

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (48:00)
The clock shows that I am quite behind everybody else and I have 12 seconds left.

Shachi Kurl: (48:05)
Take some time, sir.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (48:05)
I will disagree with the basic statement. There’s possibility to create more wealth, to absorb the cost of the changes that we need. We must stop opposing environment and creating wealth. It may go together well. This is the change that we have to do.

Shachi Kurl: (48:25)
Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mercedes. Now leaders, we are moving on to our next theme, reconciliation. Now, we are going to our first-time voter Marek McLeod and Saulte Ste. Marie. He’s got a question to all the leaders, Merrick you’re 18 years old. You’re a first time voter. What is your question to the leaders? Go ahead, Marek. The leaders are listening.

Marek McLeod: (48:57)
[inaudible 00:48:57], in the Chippewa culture, trust and respect is key to any relationship. Oh shoot.

Shachi Kurl: (49:06)
You got it, Marek. Keep going.

Marek McLeod: (49:08)
How can I trust to respect the federal government after 150-plus years of lies and abuse to my people and as Prime Minister, what will you do to rebuild the trust between first nations and the federal government?

Shachi Kurl: (49:21)
Thank you, Marek. Leaders, you’ve heard the question. How do you respond to Marek? Mr. Trudeau, you start this round.

Justin Trudeau: (49:29)
Thank you, Marek for your question. You’re absolutely right. Over the past 150 years, Canada has failed in its relationship with indigenous peoples. People who we should be working with in shared stewardship of the land, working with in partnership as we draw from the bounty and the beauty of this land to build a better future for all. That is why over the past six years, we have stepped up on the path of reconciliation. We have ended boil water advisories in 109 different communities. We have made sure that tens of thousands of young people get to go to school in better classrooms. We continue to move forward on fighting for the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and ensuring a true partnership as we move forward in respect.

Shachi Kurl: (50:17)
Mr. Blanchet.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (50:18)
Your question is quite moving. I would say that no one is entitled to tell any nation what to do or what to think, and that every nation has to be recognized as such. Either it is a nation of 300 people like there is in Quebec, or 8 million people nation like Quebec is. It calls for a relationship between equals. It calls for a relationship in which nobody tells the other party that they are stronger, bigger, richer, and therefore, you will do as you are told, even if we say it politely and first, you provide clean water to everybody.

Shachi Kurl: (51:08)
Thank you, Mr. Blanchet. Miss Paul.

Annamie Paul: (51:09)
Yes, and thank you so much for the question. I understand the anguish in it as well because justice delayed is justice denied and coming from a diaspora myself, where we have been robbed of our culture, of our languages, of our history, I have no idea where my ancestors were born or where they’re buried. I completely understand how important this is and how frustrating it is not to have seen the action. I am tired of being up on these stages without indigenous leadership here to speak for itself, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, I’m thinking of you right now. When Miss Qaqqaq said that without action, that the parliament would be hollow. She was right, so indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, nation-to-nation engagement. That is my commitment.

Shachi Kurl: (51:59)
Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (52:01)
Mr. McLeod, thank you for the question and the way you phrased it is so important. Reconciliation is about trust and respect and restoring it after a century and a half of a federal government failing. That’s why as opposition leader my first question when I rose in the house of commons was on a call to action on reconciliation, with respect to indigenous health. We need to build partnerships. We need to restore trust, and that trust is eroded. When you make commitments on safe drinking water on reserve, when you make commitments on the calls to action in the truth and reconciliation report and have no plan to fulfill them. I want to build partnerships and have indigenous leaders have governance over the federal government finally delivering on our commitment to indigenous peoples.

Shachi Kurl: (52:48)
Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (52:50)
Thank you very much. Marek, Thank you for your question. How to restore trust. How do you restore trust when indigenous communities suffer injustice and it continues in an unbroken line to this very day? How do you restore trust when you’ve got a Prime Minister that takes a knee one day and then takes indigenous kids to court the next? How do you restore trust in a country as wealthy as ours, a G7 nation in the 21st century that still does not provide clean drinking water to every single indigenous nation. It starts by actually walking the path of reconciliation, not with the empty words, but real action, clean water, nation-to-nation and respect.

Shachi Kurl: (53:38)
Okay, thank you, Mr. Singh. Marek, did the leaders answer your question?

Marek McLeod: (53:48)

Shachi Kurl: (53:48)
All right. Thank you very much.

Marek McLeod: (53:51)
[foreign language 00:53:51].

Shachi Kurl: (53:51)
[foreign language 00:53:51].

Jagmeet Singh: (53:51)
[foreign language 00:53:51].

Shachi Kurl: (53:51)
Monsieurs Blanchet and O’Toole, it is your turn to debate now. You’ve promised more money to search for unmarked graves, but so much more needs to be done to achieve meaningful reconciliation. Mr. Blanchet, you begin. Tell me, how are you better positioned than Mr. O’Toole to restore justice?

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (54:16)
I am not better positioned than Mr. O’Toole because I believe that this is a relationship between nations and you [inaudible 00:54:24] nation, I feel I represent another one and we are discussing with a lot of other nations, but I will remind everybody that on the last day of the last session, we had a motion adopted unanimously by the parliament. This motion was precisely saying what we have been told to carry by the first nation leaders, and we had it adopted. This might be the way to do it. Many times, the [inaudible 00:54:52] even if you don’t agree with everything that we would share our seats and our voices in the parliament with the first nations, in order to have them being heard by the whole country.

Erin O’Toole: (55:06)
After the tragic finding of graves in Kamloops, Cowessess and other former residential school sites, we offered to work in a bipartisan fashion on calls to action, 71 to 76. Those are related to former residential school sites, and we need to act faster. I know Mr. Trudeau cares a great deal about reconciliation. I know we all do, but this is an issue where we have to act. We can no longer say that we recognize the calls to action. We need a plan to achieve them. What I’m proposing is a plan that builds partnerships, that builds governance that has indigenous leaders, incredible ones like Jody Wilson-Raybould, to allow us to actually hold ourselves to account. All parties, all future governments. This is the biggest scar in the history of Canada, and we have to tackle it, not just with good intentions, but with a good plan to deliver for all indigenous people.

Shachi Kurl: (56:02)
Mr. Blanchet, briefly.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (56:02)
I must say that the Prime Minister has nominated, [foreign language 00:56:06], I don’t know what to translate that who speaks Inuktitut, which is great, but does not speak French. Still, he does not agree with the idea of acknowledging and recognizing first nation languages as official languages in this country.

Shachi Kurl: (56:22)
All right, we will leave that segment there. Miss Paul, Mr. Singh, Mr. Trudeau, you’re up. Tell me what is your plan to end the ongoing disproportionate violence against indigenous women and girls? Miss Paul.

Annamie Paul: (56:38)
This thing is to make space for indigenous leadership because we have done all these things and made all these promises. We know what needs to be done. The recommendations are there in the calls for justice and the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls report. Yet we still don’t have the action. As I said before, it should be Jody up here answering that question. It should be Mumilaaq Qaqqaq up here answering that question. We need to make this space for indigenous leadership to guide this process and above all, we need to make this a priority. All that is left now is political will.

Justin Trudeau: (57:14)
That is exactly what we have been doing, Miss Paul. When we called the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls after years of governments avoiding doing that, we ensured that we brought the truth forward. Then we worked with indigenous leaders groups, indigenous women’s groups to co-develop the action plan that we are now fully funding, so we can get justice for the victims, healing for the families and put an end to this ongoing national tragedy. It will take a lot of work by all of us, but we are walking this road in partnership because we know it needs to be done, and there is much more to do.

Jagmeet Singh: (57:51)
Mr. Trudeau, sadly, and I don’t take any pleasure in this. The Calls for Justice are out there and you haven’t acted on them. I meant it when I said you can’t take a knee one day, if you’re going to take indigenous kids to court the next. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to make things better.

Justin Trudeau: (58:03)
Mr. Singh, you love that lie about taking indigenous support.

Jagmeet Singh: (58:07)
It’s not a lie. You are.

Justin Trudeau: (58:07)
It’s actually not true.

Jagmeet Singh: (58:09)
Mr. Trudeau, how can you say that?

Justin Trudeau: (58:09)
We have committed to compensating those kids who went through that.

Jagmeet Singh: (58:13)
You can’t say that. You can’t say that.

Justin Trudeau: (58:13)
What’s more than that, this is important, Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (58:13)
No, you can’t say you’re not taking them to court when you’re taking them to court.

Justin Trudeau: (58:17)
When you talk about Cowessess-

Jagmeet Singh: (58:18)
There are kids out there that are being [crosstalk 00:58:21] by you in court.

Shachi Kurl: (58:21)
Leaders, I would actually remind you, the question is about violence against indigenous women and girls. Let me recenter you on that.

Jagmeet Singh: (58:29)
I appreciate it because he can’t continue to say that. That doesn’t make any sense.

Annamie Paul: (58:32)
Ms. Kurl, I will say again, I said this last night in the French debate, this is why we need more diversity in politics. This is why we need people to be who are most directly impacted by issues to be able to speak for themselves because we are drifting off into things. We have only dedicated two minutes to talking about how we are going to bring true justice to indigenous women in this country. If we just stick to the topic.

Justin Trudeau: (58:55)
Ms. Kurl.

Shachi Kurl: (58:55)
Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (58:56)
Ms. Kurl, On this topic, and it was brought up in the earlier one, and we talked about indigenous women. I want to talk about those kids buried in unmarked graves across the country, because it was a tragedy for all Canadians, one long known by indigenous peoples. When I went to Cowesses to speak with Chief Cadmus Delorme, we not only grieved those kids, we signed an agreement, a landmark agreement to keep kids at risk in their communities, to take them out of the provincial system. That is how we move forward. It took years to sign that agreement, but we got it and we are empowering indigenous communities to care for their own kids.

Shachi Kurl: (59:29)
Mr. Trudeau, we’re out of time. Mr. Singh, I’m going to give you very brief moment to respond. Briefly, we’re over time.

Jagmeet Singh: (59:36)
We need to implement all the Calls for Justice. We need to listen to indigenous women and girls. We need to make sure that they’re safe and we have the steps that they’ve laid out that we need to follow.

Shachi Kurl: (59:45)
All right. Thank you very much leaders. Now, I’m really pleased to welcome Melissa Rigden of APTN News. Melissa is going to be asking you each a direct question on our theme of reconciliation. Your first question. Hi, Melissa …

Melissa Rigden: (59:59)

Shachi Kurl: (59:59)
… Is to Mr. Blanchet. Over to you.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:00:02)
Madame, pleasure.

Melissa Rigden: (01:00:03)
[foreign language 01:00:03]. Thank you all for …

Shachi Kurl: (01:00:03)
Goes to Mr. Blanchet. Over to you.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:00:03)
Taanishi. Thank you all for being here.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:00:04)
Madame, pleasure.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:00:04)
It’s a pleasure to be here with you to ask some questions for our APTN audience. Mr. Blanchet, I’m going to start with you. Numerous government reports, including in Quebec have sounded the alarm that systemic racism exists from Joyce Echaquan dying as she’s taunted by hospital staff, to policing, the justice system. What will you do as Bloq leader to address systemic racism in your own province, in Quebec and also elsewhere in Canada.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:00:31)
First, never underestimate the weight, the sadness of those [dramas 01:00:38]. Second, I acknowledged and I recognized the existence of systemic racism in June, 2020. And then what happened? It became a political tool against Quebec. It became a tool to say, Quebec is this and that and racist and xenophobic and all of that. Instead of opening a discussion, trying to find solution, consulting experts, discussing with the First Nations themselves. It became this white society against this other one white society. We build nothing. So the word became toxic. I’m absolutely open to the idea-

Melissa Ridgen: (01:01:21)
What are you going to do? Where do we go from here, then?

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:01:21)
… of discussing all of that on a quiet stage without this aggressivity, being aggressive as this debate has become.

Shachi Kurl: (01:01:31)
All right Mr. Blanchet, we have to move on. Your next question, Melissa.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:01:34)
This question’s for you, Ms. Paul. Canada has more children in government custody right now than at the height of residential schools. New legislation, child welfare legislation actually takes the onus and puts it on the First Nations communities to bring their kids back. Cleaning up the mess that Canada has created, essentially. And those children are going to have to be brought back to all of those same problems that still exist. That were the grounds for apprehension. What would you do in the house of commons to make sure that poverty and trauma issues are addressed?

Annamie Paul: (01:02:08)
Thank you very much for that question. And absolutely, we mentioned that not that long ago in one of our statements, that the residential school system had been replaced by children in care. And that this was just perpetuating the legacy of trauma. It’s really comes back to what I said before, which is that the indigenous leadership is there. It is ready to guide all of these processes. We have all of the recommendations we need.

Annamie Paul: (01:02:35)
What we are missing is political will. What we are missing is those who have been in power for a very long time, making space for new voices and diverse voices. I actually had to pull my jaw up which just dropped when I heard what Mr. Blanchet said. I invited Mr. Blanchet to get educated about systemic discrimination. I extend that invitation again. I would be happy to educate him.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:02:58)
It’s nice to want to educate me-

Annamie Paul: (01:03:00)
This is my time, sir.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:03:01)
It is.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:03:02)
Nice time to insult people.

Annamie Paul: (01:03:04)
That was not an insult. It was an invitation to educate yourself.

Shachi Kurl: (01:03:07)
This is leader direct questions, Melissa you’re… Mr. Blanchet-

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:03:11)
There should be some decency in this debate. Since I’m many minutes behind everybody else, there should be some decency.

Shachi Kurl: (01:03:15)
Mr. Blanchet you have had every opportunity to jump in an open debate-

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:03:19)
It’s your responsibility, not mine, but some things cannot be said.

Shachi Kurl: (01:03:20)
… and I am fulfilling my responsibility, sir, Melissa, we’re going to keep moving on.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:03:24)
Is it my turn?

Shachi Kurl: (01:03:25)
It is your turn.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:03:26)
Thank you. Mr. Trudeau. This is for you. Your Liberal government has turned Indian affairs into two separate, massive bureaucracies that eat up large portions of funding that we’ll never see it on to reserve. It doesn’t leave the bureaucracy. You’ve promised clean drinking water, but billions of dollars later, that’s not happened. Many still do not have clean drinking water. Canadians and indigenous people are losing patients with the lack of results from all of this spending. So I guess the question is why would they believe you this, a third term that they would get results and you’d be accountable for all that spending.

Justin Trudeau: (01:04:02)
One of the enemies of progressive politics, Melissa, is cynicism, is discounting the hard work that millions of people have been involved in over the past years. And yes, there’s always more to do. Progressive’s always know there’s more to do. But when we came into office, there were 105 long-term boil water advisories. We lifted 109 of them and for each of the ones that are remaining, we have a project lead, a project team, and an action plan, and we are going to lift those all.

Justin Trudeau: (01:04:32)
There are tens of thousands of kids across this country, indigenous kids who’ve started the school year in new schools or refurbished schools. We have moved forward on settling more agreements and more land claims and more partnerships than any other government over the years. We continue to work in partnership and respect and invest more money in indigenous communities than any previous government, and no, we’re not done yet. We have more to do.

Shachi Kurl: (01:04:56)
Thank you Mr. Trudeau. I think that’s time.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:04:57)
I think the money… I don’t think anybody’s questioning the money spent. I think that they’re questioning the results for the money that’s spent. My next question is to you, Mr. Singh. Federal forces, including the RCMP and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have been used throughout Canada’s history to prevent first nations from exercising their treaty rights to fish and to hunt and to defend land and water. This is happening right now on both coasts, including under the NDP party in British Columbia with regards to fishing and logging. So my question would be to you as Prime Minister, what would you do to ensure indigenous rights and title are finally respected in this country?

Jagmeet Singh: (01:05:33)
I really appreciate the question. First of all, we need to respect indigenous treaty land and rights. That’s a fundamental step towards walking the path of reconciliation in a real meaningful way. But you mentioned the RCMP and I got to talk about the really sad reality that there has been violence, heavy handed violence against indigenous communities, against peaceful protestors.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:05:55)
And we have long called, I have long called for reform of policing. When I was in the provincial level, I fought against carding. I’ve continued to use every platform I have to say, we’ve got to stop the use of force, we’ve got an overview it. We’ve got to change the RCMP’s mandate. And that’s something we can do at the federal level. That’s something that Mr. Trudeau said he would do and yet has yet to do. And it’s something I’m committed to making sure it happens.

Shachi Kurl: (01:06:20)
Mr. O’Toole my next question is for you. You voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people that would share decision-making power with indigenous people over what happens on their land. And you also want to criminalize indigenous dissent that’s expressed through blockades or protests. So the question is, if you were prime minister how could Canada build respectful nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous people?

Erin O’Toole: (01:06:45)
Thank you, Ms. Ridgen. And this goes very similar to Mr. McCloud’s question on trust and respect. I want to build those partnerships and that’s why our only concern with the United Nations Declaration was how free and prior informed consent was defined so that didn’t stop partnerships from being formed.

Erin O’Toole: (01:07:01)
I’m really glad to say one of the early leaders behind the UN Declaration, chief Willie Littlechild has agreed to serve as a special counsel to me on the implementation of that, to make sure that there are partnerships and opportunities. What I want to do as prime minister is build that type of nation to nation dialogue and partnership so that the next generation has intergenerational wealth and opportunity transfer, not trauma. And building that trust will be core to me. It’s why as I said, my first question was on reconciliation. We have to make progress.

Shachi Kurl: (01:07:35)
All right. Thank you, Mr. O’Toole. Now we move on to open debate or a reminder that Melissa will be here to keep the leaders on theme. I will be here to do my best to keep you on time. And all of you have an opportunity to jump in after Mr. Trudeau begins with a question from Melissa.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:07:53)
Okay. I think if there’s one thing that Canadians and indigenous people can all agree upon it is that this Indian Act system is not working for anybody. How would you dismantle this broken, top down system? And what would you replace it with that would ensure that Canada still is living up to its constitutional obligations to indigenous people.

Justin Trudeau: (01:08:11)
First of all, we are looking forward to dismantling the Indian Act. It is a commitment of ours, but it is not something that Ottawa gets to decide. And what replaces the Indian Act will vary from community to community as we live up to our obligations. And that’s why over the years, as we’ve moved towards self-government, we have accompanied in communities some who want to start with health, some who want to start with education. Some who want to start with economic development. Every community, every nation across this country gets to help define what its path is forward. We will be there to listen, to partner, to build a better future every step of the way.

Erin O’Toole: (01:08:50)
Way to go forward is to listen to leaders. And Mr. Trudeau ignored one that he had in his own cabinet in Jody Wilson-Raybould. That was a huge, lost opportunity. We’ve been speaking to people with how we can accelerate treaty resolution. There are some treaty negotiations, Ms. Ridgen that have been going on, as you probably know for decades, we need to solve it. And we need to work with indigenous leaders. There’s incredible indigenous leaders in nonprofits, in the private sector, in industry, in academia. We need to use that governance capacity to finalize treaties and build partnerships. Because the best way forward is success for indigenous peoples alongside their neighbors, along side [crosstalk 01:09:30].

Melissa Ridgen: (01:09:29)
Mr. Singh and then Mr. Trudeau.

Erin O’Toole: (01:09:32)
[crosstalk 01:09:32] more and more Canadians.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:09:32)
I’m coming to you Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:09:33)
I’ll just jump in on this one point. I think absolutely the solution has to be indigenous led. And I think that’s the starting point. And for a long time, we’ve seen that there’s been a top down approach that has to change. There has to be indigenous people at the table. But I want to talk about the impact so we just that we understand how severe this is, how the Indian Act is creating injustice and perpetuating injustice.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:09:53)
I spoke to Bee who’s a young woman, a young girl who lives in Neskantaga she told me in her own voice, she said, ” I’m a 12 year old girl and I’m fighting for clean drinking water. How does that make any sense?” Those words haunt me to this day. I think about what 12 year olds do, and they certainly aren’t fighting for clean drinking water. That is a legacy, that is the impact of the Indian Act.

Justin Trudeau: (01:10:15)
We’ll go back to what Mr. O’Toole has been saying, because he’s very able at saying all the right things, but there are countless examples of him actually not living up to his words. We’ve seen him on a number of times during this campaign, but on indigenous issues specifically. He says, we need to listen to indigenous peoples. Well he proposed that he would raise the flags that are at half-mast for the kids in unmarked graves in residential schools. And he didn’t talk to, or listen to any indigenous leaders when he made that decision.

Erin O’Toole: (01:10:44)
Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (01:10:44)
And that’s something that is important and symbolic, but wouldn’t cost a cent. How do we believe that he would be able to actually make the investments necessary.

Annamie Paul: (01:10:53)
I’d like to-

Shachi Kurl: (01:10:54)
Ms. Paul is trying to get in here too. [crosstalk 01:10:54].

Erin O’Toole: (01:10:54)
I should be able to respond to that.

Shachi Kurl: (01:10:55)
I’m going to give Ms. Paul and Mr. Blanchet a chance to jump in. We haven’t heard from them yet. Time permitting I’ll come back to you, Mr. O’Toole

Annamie Paul: (01:11:01)
And I really gained want to re-

Erin O’Toole: (01:11:03)
I asked Mr. Trudeau to move immediately.

Shachi Kurl: (01:11:05)
Hold on, hold on, Ms. Paul.

Annamie Paul: (01:11:07)
I really just want to try to recenter our conversation on indigenous peoples and what we’re going to do to fulfill the many unfulfilled promises and commitments that have been made. And I would say perhaps to pick up on what has been said that it seems all too often that reconciliation is treated like a buffet. You can opt in for this, pick this plate, but not the other one.

Annamie Paul: (01:11:31)
And that applies to what we’ve seen with Mr. Trudeau and the Liberals. You can’t on the one hand say reconciliation, and then go and not allow Miꞌkmaq fishers to be able to have a decent, moderate living for all of these years. You can’t call reconciliation and then take indigenous peoples to court. But Mr. Singh, you also can’t say reconciliation and then support the NDP government in putting pipelines through indigenous territories. Or support line five after the Anishinaabe, made it very clear that they did not support that.

Shachi Kurl: (01:12:04)
Ms. Paul, I’m going to allow Mr. Blanchet to get in. He’s been signaling he wants to. I will come back to the two of you, Mr. Blanchet.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:12:11)
First Nations and Quebec have something in common. They are binded by a document they never signed. And any relationship between nations should be dealt with, with freely signed treaties or agreements or something. The Indian Act has to be replaced one nation at a time, if need be, by and with freely signed treaties and agreements. There’s no other way. And if I may come back a few seconds on something else, Quebec wants religion out of the state of affairs because religion never protected equality for women and never will.

Shachi Kurl: (01:12:55)
We are over time. I’m going to give you both the chance to briefly respond. Mr. O’Toole then Mr. Singh, briefly, please.

Erin O’Toole: (01:13:01)
I am proud of this country. And I think if you love your country, you can dig deep to make it better. So as Prime Minister on the National Day of Reconciliation on September 30th, I will raise the flag with the commitment to move forward on calls to action. Mr. Trudeau promises things, doesn’t deliver. And then when people protested him, he mocked them. That is not reconciliation. So you can be proud of your country as you strive for it to get better.

Shachi Kurl: (01:13:28)
All right, thank you Mr. O’Toole, Mr. Singh briefly.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:13:30)
I think Mr. Trudeau may care. Think he cares, but the reality is that he’s often done a lot of things for show and hasn’t backed those up with real action. And the harm is, is that indigenous people continue to suffer. And that’s what I want to stop. I want to stop the suffering and lift up indigenous people by being allies working with them.

Shachi Kurl: (01:13:48)
Five seconds, Mr. Trudeau, then we got to go. Mr. Trudeau five seconds.

Justin Trudeau: (01:13:49)
Fortunately, the cynicism that Mr. Singh is showing on saying we did nothing is harming reconciliation and the path we’re moving forward. We have lots more to do, and we are doing it.

Shachi Kurl: (01:14:00)
All right leaders, thank you. Thank you, Melissa.

Melissa Ridgen: (01:14:03)
Marsee, marsee.

Justin Trudeau: (01:14:04)

Shachi Kurl: (01:14:05)
And now it is time for our fourth theme for the night, affordability. It’s time now to bring in Janet Falla. She is a senior working part-time in Burlington, Ontario. Good evening, Janet. Please tell us what your question is to the leaders.

Janet Falla: (01:14:27)
My question is this at my age, I never imagined that I would have to keep on working. But I have to, to afford to live where I do. So I’d like to know when they become prime minister, what will they do to help us seniors survive?

Shachi Kurl: (01:14:46)
Thank you, Janet. Leaders you’ve heard Janet’s question. We’re starting with you, Mr. Blanchet.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:14:52)
Merci, Madame. For many months now, the Bloc Quebecois has demanded for the government to increase the amount of money being provided on a monthly basis to our elders. It’s nowhere in the Conservative’s program and in the Liberal’s program, it starts at 75, nothing below 75 for this pension. I’m not sure about the word in English. It has to be done. Those people are those who suffered the most from the pandemic. Their power to buy things was reduced. The fact, that they were alone more than ever before was made worse. And the stress, the anxiety, they lived with is terrible. We want something to be done and it has to start with a monthly check seriously increased. Thank you, Mr. Blanchet, Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (01:15:47)
Thank you, Ms. Falla for the question. This is a crisis facing our country, affordability. And it’s hitting our seniors the hardest. That’s why in Canada’s recovery plan, our plan to give you a break. We’re going to double the Canada workers benefit. There are many seniors like you having to work to keep up with the cost of living. We’re going to double that for you to give you a break.

Erin O’Toole: (01:16:10)
We’re going to get bills down for internet, for cellular phone. We’re going to get grocery bills down. That is our plan and our commitment. And in December, we’re going to give you a break with the GST holiday and help bricks and mortar stores in the process. Mr. Trudeau is borrowing every day, $424 million, and he’s causing an inflation crisis. We have to secure our future. And that’s our commitment to you.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:16:35)
Thank you, Mr. O’Toole. Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (01:16:37)
Ms. Falla, thank you so much for your question. We know that seniors have been deeply affected by this pandemic, the isolation, the extra costs, which is why we stepped up with a one-time support so you can help get through this pandemic. But we need longer term supports. One of the first things we did was increase the guaranteed income supplement for our most vulnerable single seniors when we first got elected. We’re doing that again in our proposal in this election. We’re also moving forward with increasing the OAS for all seniors over 75, because we recognize that the costs continue to increase as you get older and continue to want to live at home. We’re giving you more supports so you can stay at home safely and make those renovations. Importantly, we will continue to have your backs as we have through this pandemic and into the future.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:17:27)
Thank you, Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:17:29)
I want to thank you so much for your question. And one of the things that you mentioned is that you didn’t think you would have to keep on working. And I don’t think our seniors should have to work. If seniors want to contribute by working, that’s absolutely their right, but you shouldn’t have had to work.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:17:43)
And in a country as rich as ours, we should make sure our seniors are able to retire with dignity. That you’ve got the supports necessary to live a life of dignity. So what we’re proposing to do is put in place a guaranteed income for seniors. So they can live with dignity and not have to worry about paying the bills. That’s a starting point. What we’ve seen so far is that Mr. Trudeau and Mr. O’Toole both are going to either cut the help that you receive or put the burden back on people like you. We believe that the ultra rich should pay their fair share for once and invest in you, invest in families, invest in people.

Shachi Kurl: (01:18:17)
Thank you, Mr. Singh. Ms. Paul.

Annamie Paul: (01:18:20)
Thank you very, very much for the question. And as someone who comes from a family where my grandma and grandfather had to work until actually they were kicked out of working because they needed to keep working to afford the basics I completely understand what you’re saying.

Annamie Paul: (01:18:36)
And this is an opportunity for us to learn the lessons from this pandemic and to really get to the heart of things and to stop talking about the symptoms, but get to the root causes. We need to have, absolutely, and it’s so wonderful to see the consensus building around a guaranteed livable income. So that whatever your circumstances you can live with dignity. We need universal longterm care, that’s a huge expense. It was for my family. And we need more affordable housing. Let’s get to the root causes.

Shachi Kurl: (01:19:04)
Thank you, Ms. Paul. Mr. Singh, and Mr. Blanchet, you will both square off. Now you both talk about affordable housing, but we know that affordability means different things to different people, depending on where in the country they live. So when you talk about affordable housing, who are you really talking about. Per the draw, Mr. Singh, you begin. Mr. Blanchet you may jump in anytime.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:19:28)
We’re talking about people who are spending right now, more than half their income on housing. That’s not affordable. People should not be spending so much on housing that they have no money left to pay for their groceries, to pay for their bills. And the sad reality is since 2015 to now the average cost of housing nationally has gone up to buy a home by $300,000. So far the housing crisis has gotten worse over the past six years. We want to invest in housing. We want to invest to make it easier to buy your first home and to invest to make sure those available, affordable rental homes.

Shachi Kurl: (01:20:07)
Let Mr. Blanchet respond.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:20:07)
Could anyone tell me how to translate [crosstalk 01:20:09].

Justin Trudeau: (01:20:08)
Social housing.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:20:10)
Social housing might be a solution to another problem. People are paying… At least in Quebec people are paying far too much for houses because the prices have increased tremendously. The idea is to reduce the speed of that increase while helping people who cannot even afford decent lodging. If we build more social lodging, which price are obviously very lower, much lower, than it will lessen the pressure on those houses will become more and more expensive. And it will help reduce this… I wouldn’t speak about an inflation crisis, but I would speak about an inflation worry. Which we must have at present times. So I believe one thing might be part of the solution for the other thing, when we speak about it.

Shachi Kurl: (01:21:03)
All right, Mr. Blanchet, that’s time. I’m sorry, Mr. Singh, that’s time. You speak about inflation, Mr. Blanchet. And that brings us to our next topic. So Mr. O’Toole, Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Paul you’re up. Inflation is at its highest level in a decade, and it is squeezing Canadians on staples, such as groceries, gas, rent. What’s your message to Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet. Per the draw you begin, Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (01:21:32)
Well, unlike Mr. Trudeau, I will care about monetary policy because we need to keep inflation low. There is a crisis hitting families and Mr. Trudeau seems completely oblivious to that. Bills are going up, there’s a housing crisis, as we talked about, and he’s making it worse with, as I said, almost half a billion dollars of borrowing per day. There’s real risks on the horizon. So we have a plan to get people work, get people, get their bills down, give them a break. Canadians, deserve a break. And balance the budget over the course of the next decade. That’s exactly what we need to fight against Mr. Trudeau’s inflation.

Annamie Paul: (01:22:09)
Trying not to interrupt anyone.

Erin O’Toole: (01:22:10)
Give families a break.

Shachi Kurl: (01:22:11)
Ms. Paul.

Annamie Paul: (01:22:12)
Trying not to interrupt anyone. It’s just an excellent question. And if you come to my neighborhood of Toronto center, you will see those people living in inadequate housing. You will see people paying more than a half of their income just for things like childcare.

Annamie Paul: (01:22:27)
And there’s this expression in my culture where you talk about soon come. It’s the things that you delay to tomorrow and tomorrow that should have been done today. This is soon come, soon come is now. We have got to learn the lessons of the pandemic and make sure that we have a social safety net in place that lets everyone live with dignity. When we invest in our people, we are investing in our future, and this is the time for us to do that. It costs us not to do it.

Justin Trudeau: (01:22:55)
Over the past year and a half. I made a straightforward promise to Canadians that we would have your backs. And that’s what we did. During this pandemic. We were there to support people, but at the same time, we need to continue that. That’s why we’ve put forward a $10 a day childcare proposal that will save the average family in Toronto, close to $10,000 more than Mr. Mr. O’Toole’s approach on childcare, which you would cancel. We also put forward a national housing plan that will invest $4 billion to work with municipalities to create 1.4 million homes, Mr. O’Toole’s [crosstalk 01:23:31].

Shachi Kurl: (01:23:30)
Let him respond Mr. O’Toole. Mr. Trudeau, let Mr. O’Toole respond.

Justin Trudeau: (01:23:32)
Let me just finish this. Mr. O’Toole’s plan on housing gives half a billion dollars of breaks to the wealthiest landlords and not for building new houses.

Erin O’Toole: (01:23:45)
That’s completely untrue.

Shachi Kurl: (01:23:45)
Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (01:23:45)
The housing crisis has gotten worse under Mr. Trudeau and months ago, he fought against us trying to take foreign, non-resident money out of our housing market. We’ve got a plan to get rental housing built. We’ve got a plan to get density, a million new homes in the next three years.

Justin Trudeau: (01:24:00)
There’s no money on that plan, not a cent.

Erin O’Toole: (01:24:01)
And give first time home buyers, a break by a longer mortgage. And Mr. Trudeau, Canadians are worried. You’re going to be taxing their primary home sale. Your advisors have said it.

Justin Trudeau: (01:24:11)
That is untrue.

Erin O’Toole: (01:24:12)
Your candidates have said it. It’s on page 14 of his policy book. He’s introducing a new tax on the sale of homes.

Shachi Kurl: (01:24:18)
Leaders, leaders there will be more opportunity to speak about these issues. Thank you, because guess what, I’m bringing out Rosemary Barton of CBC news, and she’s going to be asking you more direct questions and opening up more opportunities for debate on this theme of affordability. Hey Rosie.

Rosemary Barton: (01:24:35)
Hey Shachi. Thanks and good to see everybody. Appreciate you being here. Let’s try and get some answers this time, shall we? Ms. Paul, I’ll start with you. One of the plans that you’ve laid out to tackle affordability is a guaranteed livable income. You mentioned it just moments ago, give people a set amount of money to deal with their lives. There was an expert panel in British Columbia just recently that said that that is not the way forward, but that actually is too complicated for the needs of our society. That the needs are too diverse. Why do you think this is still a policy worth pursuing.

Annamie Paul: (01:25:06)
Guaranteed livable income is a policy whose time has come. We saw at the beginning of the pandemic how many people were thrown immediately into financial crisis because our patchwork system simply isn’t working. There is a growing consensus, the members of the Liberal party voted for it at their convention. The members of the NDP party voted it at their convention. 50 senators signed a letter calling for it. The time has come to ensure that everyone has the support that they need to live in dignity in this country. The parliamentary budget officer looked at guaranteed livable income, he examined the model in Ontario and here’s what he said. He said that it would lift half of the people who are in poverty now out of it, that it was affordable and that it would not disincentivize work. This is the time for a guarantee livable income. Let’s do it together.

Shachi Kurl: (01:25:56)
That’s time. Thank you.

Rosemary Barton: (01:25:57)
Mr. O’Toole childcare as you know is a huge expense for families. You would scrap the deals that the Liberals have made with provinces, which drops fees by 50% immediately and create spaces, and eventually will reduce fees to $10. Instead you’re proposing a tax credit that would reimburse just some families, $6,000 a year. So what does your plan do to create spaces and lower fees, because as you know here, it’s not just about affordability, but also about access.

Erin O’Toole: (01:26:26)
It’s about helping all families, now. Not in five years, helping some, and our plan would help lower income families with up to 75% of the cost. Our plan will also help that nurse on shift schedules that has jobs in the evening, that needs flexibility. What we want to do is help all families get ahead and provide more support-

Rosemary Barton: (01:26:47)
If the nurse can’t find a spot, Mr. O’Toole, what does she do? If the nurse can’t find a spot, what does she do with her children?

Erin O’Toole: (01:26:52)
This gives her as much flexibility as possible. If there’s not one in her suburban community, there is no space in five years under Mr. Trudeau’s program. We want to give families the tools to make the best decision for the position they’re in now to have ability to help them in their circumstances. Our plan will be immediate, it will help all Canadian families.

Rosemary Barton: (01:27:13)
Mr. Singh, you’re promising to tackle skyrocketing housing prices. One of the ways is with that 20% tax on the sale of homes to foreign buyers. Two thirds of Canadian families actually own a home already. If you’re successful at cooling the housing market, that would mean that people who have invested their life savings in their homes may not have it anymore. They’re relying on that for their retirement. So what is more important to you? Helping younger people get access to the market or allowing older Canadians who rely on the value of their homes to live.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:27:44)
It’s a really fair question. And when I spoke to people, I go door to door in my riding at Burnaby, people who have got beautiful homes. I ask them, what’s the number one concern. They say housing. And I kind of look around at their house and say, “Well, you’ve got a home.” They say, “Well, I’m not waiting for myself. I’ve got a place, but I’m worried about my kids.” And they’re more concerned that their kids will never be able to find a home then their own circumstances, because they’re okay. They are worried about their kids and the reality is it is impossible for young people to even imagine buying a home, let alone renting a place that’s in their budget. So we’ve got to get the big money out of housing. Young people, young families, professionals shouldn’t have to compete.

Rosemary Barton: (01:28:22)
So your answer is that it is more important for young people to get into the housing market rather than protect people who have equity in there homes now.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:28:28)
We can do both. And our plan is that everyone’s telling us the number one concern they have for their kids is that they’re not sure they’re ever going to be able to own a home. We want to change that. It’s gotten worse with Mr. Trudeau. We’re going to fix it.

Rosemary Barton: (01:28:40)
Thank you. Mr. Blanchet, nice to see you, sir. Seniors, as you were talking about off the top, they’re really worried about the increased cost of living. You, as you said, have criticized the Liberals for increasing old age security only for those 75 and older. But statistics show time and again, that older seniors are less likely to have employment income and they actually have higher health expenses. So why should an increase in seniors go to all seniors instead of those who need it most.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:29:09)
First, let’s say that this prime minister is supposed to be the champion who fights against all kinds of discrimination. And he did create himself two classes of elder seniors. What we want is for those between 65 and 75 to spend their private funds in the meantime?

Rosemary Barton: (01:29:31)
No, but I’ve just given you the example about why-

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:29:35)
And, I will-

Rosemary Barton: (01:29:35)
I’ve just given you the example about why the government may have done that, sir. It’s because people who are 65 to 75-

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:29:39)
May I propose my own answer please?

Rosemary Barton: (01:29:40)
May I follow up please? That those people generally stay employed and generally have fewer health costs.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:29:48)
Those people have worked all their lives until 65 years old. They have paid for a pension that should be the same for everybody. And for some financial issues, the government creates…

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:30:03)
For some financial issues, the government creates two classes of seniors. It is unacceptable and no calculation whatsoever should be so unethical.

Shachi Kurl: (01:30:13)
All right. Thank you, Mr. Blanchet. We are now moving to the open debate section.

Rosemary Barton: (01:30:17)
I just have a question for Mr. Trudeau, I believe.

Shachi Kurl: (01:30:19)
I’m very sorry.

Rosemary Barton: (01:30:20)
If you don’t mind. I don’t think we should let him off the hook, I think we would all agree.

Shachi Kurl: (01:30:23)
I got a little mixed up there.

Justin Trudeau: (01:30:24)
I like the way you were making some of our arguments on the other ones.

Rosemary Barton: (01:30:25)
No, no. Well we’ll make you uncomfortable now, sir. You said in 2019 that Canadians should never have to make the, and these are your words, impossible choice between paying for medications or putting food on the table. We have seen you particularly in these recent months willing to spend billions of dollars on programs that matter to your government, daycare would be another example of that. Why is there no money in your platform or in your most recent budget for a national PharmaCare program? Is it no longer a priority? And should you not just tell Canadians that, sir?

Justin Trudeau: (01:30:57)
No, it continues to be a priority because indeed, no one should have to choose between paying for groceries and medications. On health investments, we were all focused on COVID-19 and supporting the provinces and making sure that on that we were giving the support we needed so we could have Canadians’ backs. But at the same time, we worked with a number of different jurisdictions and we’ve actually signed with Prince Edward Island a national universal PharmaCare first step-

Rosemary Barton: (01:31:26)
Yeah, you’ve signed one deal, sir, but there’s nothing in your platform in terms of costing. I understand the pandemic kept you busy. What about going forward? Why wouldn’t you put that in place?

Justin Trudeau: (01:31:35)
Going forward, we are going to continue to. But we know that it’s not something-

Rosemary Barton: (01:31:38)
Continue to is not do.

Justin Trudeau: (01:31:39)
We did with Prince Edward Island, we’re going to continue to do with others. In respect of the provincial jurisdiction, that is delivery of healthcare. We can’t impose PharmaCare on a province that doesn’t want it unlike the NDP proposes, we are going to work in partnership as we have on so many things to get it done like we did on childcare.

Shachi Kurl: (01:31:58)
Okay. And now, we’re going to move to open debate, starting back with you, Rosie.

Rosemary Barton: (01:32:05)
Okay. And we start here, I believe with Mr. Blanchet.

Shachi Kurl: (01:32:08)
That’s correct.

Rosemary Barton: (01:32:09)
So Mr. Blanchet, what is one policy change that you think would make the biggest difference to Canadians, or Quebeckers in your case, in terms of their cost of living, the one change that you would like to see that would help them the most?

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:32:22)
Cost of living, that’s quite interesting because that’s a worry that we have. We believe that the most important thing is changing the way we create wealth. We believe that transforming our own resources, natural resources, with our own clean energy in our regions of Quebec will create more wealth. This wealth will come from a non-viral environmental, I will get this word, environmental preoccupation as well, and we will do that and we should be entitled to do that with our part of the money that is being sent again and again in oil and gas. There’s one thing I want to add, even if it’s not exactly, I don’t know if there’s time eventually.

Shachi Kurl: (01:33:09)
Not really, but quickly, quickly, quickly.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:33:11)
I will take a few of those seconds.

Shachi Kurl: (01:33:12)

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:33:12)
Will we have some seconds to speak about French speaking communities and [inaudible 01:33:17] in this debate?

Rosemary Barton: (01:33:18)
This is about cost of living, sir.

Shachi Kurl: (01:33:19)
And to you, Mr. Singh.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:33:19)
It’s nowhere. That’s my problem, it’s nowhere.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:33:22)
One of the things that we know, cost of living has gone up, cost of medication is going up, the cost of being able to afford the medication that keeps you healthy. Mr. Trudeau, $0 in your fully costed budget means zero commitment to getting it done.

Justin Trudeau: (01:33:35)
You don’t have a fully cost of platform.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:33:37)
But you’ve shown your evidence. With your cost and budget, you’ve shown Canadians clearly you’ve got no interest in doing something that you’ve promised to do two years ago.

Justin Trudeau: (01:33:47)
You have no costs in your platform, Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:33:47)
You promised to do it two years ago, you committed, you campaigned on it, you included it in your throne speech, and now you’ve completely abandoned it. How can people trust any promise you make when there’s $0 in your plan?

Shachi Kurl: (01:34:01)
Okay, brief response, then Ms. Paul, then I’m coming to you, Mr. O’Toole. Briefly-

Justin Trudeau: (01:34:07)
$25 billion in our fully cost of platform for health for the priorities that Canadians have told us on. Better support for seniors in care, better support for mental health services across the country, particularly for young people, and access to a primary care doctor or team. That is what $25 billion over the next four years gives. Mr. O’Toole’s money for health is back-loaded to 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years from now.

Shachi Kurl: (01:34:33)
All right, Mr. Trudeau. Thank you. Ms. Paul.

Rosemary Barton: (01:34:35)
I’m reminded what the question was. The question was what policy would have the biggest impact on people’s costs of living.

Shachi Kurl: (01:34:41)
Ms. Paul.

Annamie Paul: (01:34:42)
And I think that we have a perfect example of this again here, because the biggest thing that could make a difference in the cost of living for people is a change in the culture in Ottawa. It is so painful for me because I’ve had the experience of, again, having my grandparents work until they were 75 and living six and 800 square feet and wondering how we were going to feed ourselves some nights. I’ve had that experience. And I know that one day of delay is too much. So when I think that we could have been in parliament now working to get people the help that they need-

Rosemary Barton: (01:35:14)
But what is the policy, Ms. Paul? These are anecdotes, what is the policy was the question.

Annamie Paul: (01:35:18)
It’s not an anecdote. The thing that we need is a change in the culture-

Erin O’Toole: (01:35:21)
Ms. Kurl.

Shachi Kurl: (01:35:21)
I hear you. I see you, Mr. O’Toole.

Annamie Paul: (01:35:22)
Is a change in the culture because there are several parties on this platform right now that agree on guaranteed livable income and universal PharmaCare and childcare.

Erin O’Toole: (01:35:30)
My policy-

Annamie Paul: (01:35:31)
But it’s always soon come. It’s always soon come.

Shachi Kurl: (01:35:33)
All right. Thank you, Ms. Paul. Mr. O’Toole, you’ve been waiting, I’m going to get you in.

Erin O’Toole: (01:35:36)
We’re doubling the Canadian workers benefit, that amounts to a dollar per hour raise for working families. These are people working very hard and I respect whether they get up to work a shift in a restaurant or work to open their small business. We’re going to have your back. We’re also going to get costs down. We’re the only party with a recovery plan that includes all Canadians. And when it comes to cynicism that Mr. Trudeau talked about earlier, all of the commitments continue to be a priority. He’s going to get to the calls to action. He’s going to have transparency. He’s going to make targets. He announces things and never delivers. Mr. Trudeau, a prime minister has to deliver on the work, not just [crosstalk 01:36:19] to make promises, a plan to get there.

Justin Trudeau: (01:36:22)
By the way, Mr. O’Toole, I won’t take lessons from you on making promises and not following up, when we see you beholden to the gun lobby, beholden to the anti-vaxxers, you’re beholden to-

Shachi Kurl: (01:36:32)
All right. Remember, this is affordability and Mr. Trudeau, I’m sorry, we’re out of time now, sir.

Justin Trudeau: (01:36:37)
I’ve been responding to people. Can I answer Rosie’s question directly?

Shachi Kurl: (01:36:40)
You have five seconds, sir.

Justin Trudeau: (01:36:41)
We were able to lift a million people out of poverty and create a million jobs at the same time with the right kinds of investments over the past five years.

Shachi Kurl: (01:36:49)
And Mr. Trudeau, I’m sorry, sir, I have to wrap you right there because it is now time for our next theme on COVID recovery. Rosie, thank you so much.

Rosemary Barton: (01:36:58)
Thank you very much.

Shachi Kurl: (01:37:07)
Okay. From Saskatchewan, Ethan Herman is standing by in Saskatoon. He’s an undecided voter and he wants to hear from you about COVID recovery. Hey, Ethan. Go ahead.

Ethan Herman: (01:37:21)
Hey. Good evening, leaders. My question is this, coming out of this pandemic, how will you if elected as prime minister going to unify and drive Canada forward with respect to healthcare, jobs in the economy and ensuring a higher quality of life is achievable for all Canadians regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation?

Shachi Kurl: (01:37:44)
All right. Leaders, you’ve heard from Ethan. Mr. O’Toole, you’re up first.

Erin O’Toole: (01:37:47)
Thank you, Mr. Herman. That is exactly why I launched Canada’s recovery plan on the first day of the campaign. We’re going to create a million jobs in one year. We’re going to clean up the accountability mess in Ottawa. We’re going to have national leadership on mental health. We’re going to be more ready for a pandemic and we’re going to get our finances under control. I want to get people working. I want to give families a break. And since the moment I became conservative leader, I’ve been reaching out, whatever your background, your faith, your color, your sexual orientation, whether you’re indigenous, whether you’re a new Canadian, you’re important to Canada’s recovery and you’re important to the conservative party. And I’d asked you to look at Canada’s recovery plan after these 18 months as a country. We need a plan and a leader that will actually deliver.

Shachi Kurl: (01:38:33)
Thank you. Ms. Paul.

Annamie Paul: (01:38:35)
Thank you, Mr. Herman. And I swear I did not line up that question. He’s not a ringer. But this really comes to the heart of the matter, which again is about changing the culture of politics in Ottawa. We have heard from outgoing MPs in the last parliament how incredibly important that is that the culture has become toxic, that has become hyper partisan. And there used to be a time, I worked as an intern in a non-partisan way in the Ontario legislature. You would make a fuss in question period, and then you’d get to work across party lines and committees to find the solutions to help people in Canada. And so we need less partisanship. We need more diverse voices so that we can get the access to the best ideas in a more cooperative and collaborative way.

Shachi Kurl: (01:39:21)
Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:39:23)
Thank you. Mr. Herman, thank you for your question. And your question touched on a number of things. Healthcare is something very near and dear to my heart. And we’ve seen in this pandemic that our healthcare system simply hasn’t been there. It is not because of the pandemic, a lot of these problems were there from before. So our commitment is to invest in our healthcare system, to defend it. Unlike Mr. Trudeau and Mr. O’Toole who believe in private long-term care delivery, we want to get out profit, get out the greed from the delivery of long-term care. We want to invest in PharmaCare for all, not promise it in 2019 and then have $0 to commit towards it. We want to see everyone have access to medication. We want to include dental care into our healthcare system and mental health services. And to do all that, we want to make sure that the billionaires are paying their fair share so we can invest in you.

Shachi Kurl: (01:40:10)
Thank you, Mr. Singh. Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (01:40:12)
Ethan, I think the folks on this stage missed the very first part of your question, which is once we get out of this pandemic, and yes, we have plans for being even more ambitious on climate change and making sure people get good jobs, but we have to get out of this pandemic first. And that’s why the unequivocal leadership that we’ve shown as a government on making sure that everyone gets vaccinated is what’s going to get us through. We cannot rebuild the economy until we get through this pandemic. And unfortunately, Mr. O’Toole who says he wants to get all of Canada vaccinated to 90% in the coming two months can’t even convince his own candidates to get vaccinated to 90%. We have to get through this. We are unequivocal that vaccinations are the way to do it.

Shachi Kurl: (01:41:00)
Thank you, Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Blanchet.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:41:01)
I think Mr. Trudeau forgot the second part of your question, which is about healthcare. Let’s be efficient. Healthcare is a jurisdiction of the provinces and Quebec. Those are the territory, the jurisdictions who should have the resources to do their job. The promises of the conservatives is 3.5% of increase a year for the first three years, which is very far from what the province has asked for. And what the province has asked for is not even in the program of Mr. Trudeau. So it will be hard to be efficient if those who are responsible of healthcare do not have the resources which are owed to them.

Shachi Kurl: (01:41:45)
Thank you, Mr. Blanchet. Thanks, Ethan, for your question. Have a good night. We’re going to let you go. It is now time, Ms. Paul and Mr. Singh to go face to face, starting with Ms. Paul. And I want to talk about Canada’s parallel pandemic, the opioid crisis. Since it has taken hold, more than 20,000 Canadians have died often in the shadows. This is an insidious killer that is tearing families apart. To both of you, starting with Ms. Paul, does the political will exist to confront it?

Annamie Paul: (01:42:22)
We called many times during the last session of parliament across party lines, again, for us to first recognize that this was a national health emergency and then to decriminalize a simple possession, because we know we need to end the stigma and create a national safe supply program. We asked every party to do it because 17 lives on average are being lost every day. We didn’t hear anything from anyone. And it comes back to Mr. Herman’s question about unity. Can we not unify on something like this where it’s clear what we need to do? If we can’t do that, then none of these other things are possible. And so that’s what we have to try to do.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:43:01)
We definitely need to respond to this crisis with everything we have. We’ve long called for it to be declared a national public health emergency. And what we know is the approach that has been taken for decades simply doesn’t work. The approach of arresting someone, putting them through the criminal’s justice system, putting them in jail does not make communities safer and it doesn’t help people. So we’ve been saying, and I believe very firmly, we need to provide healthcare responses to people that are dealing with addiction. We need to make sure we are doing everything we can to secure a safe supply. We need to look at the evidence and say really clearly, if there is any step we can take that will save lives, we’ve got to take it.

Shachi Kurl: (01:43:42)
So there’s a lot to do, but does the political will exist to do it?

Annamie Paul: (01:43:49)
That is exactly the question. Is there the political will?

Jagmeet Singh: (01:43:49)
There is on behalf of the democrats.

Annamie Paul: (01:43:50)
There doesn’t seem to be because we need a national safe supply program. We wanted it before parliament dissolved and here we are, and lives will be lost in my writing of Toronto Center probably today because of it.

Shachi Kurl: (01:44:00)
All right, Ms. Paul, I have to wrap you there. It’s good to hear, Mr. Singh, that it is at least coming from you. Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Blanchet, Mr. O’Toole, this round to you, starting with Mr. Trudeau. During the pandemic, Canadians watched in horror the suffering of their most vulnerable and frail loved ones in long-term care. What if tomorrow you had to place a family member in a long-term care facility? Would you do it? Beginning with you, Mr. Trudeau. Mr. O’Toole, Mr. Blanchet, you may jump in.

Justin Trudeau: (01:44:35)
Tomorrow’s my mom’s 73rd birthday, so that is certainly something we’re reflecting on, but she’s doing wonderfully right now. We won’t have to make that decision right now. Don’t worry, mom. The reality is we’ve heard from seniors across this country who’ve been tremendously worried through this pandemic and family members worried about that. We know that the conditions of work for the people who are in those long-term care homes are often dictating the conditions of care for seniors, which is why we propose to hire 50,000 new personal support workers working with the provinces with the money for that, also increasing the minimum salary to $25 an hour for people who care for our elders and most vulnerable, because we know-

Shachi Kurl: (01:45:16)
So if you had to put mom in long-term care, you would do it?

Justin Trudeau: (01:45:18)
I would make sure that yes, that they are people who are properly well cared and that there is enough of a proportionate.

Shachi Kurl: (01:45:26)
Mr. O’Toole.

Justin Trudeau: (01:45:26)
And that’s where we will work with the provinces to deliver exactly that because we put real money forward for that.

Shachi Kurl: (01:45:32)
Thank you, Mr. Trudeau. Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (01:45:34)
This is where we need partnerships for long-term care for the [inaudible 01:45:37] in Quebec. We’re going to have a $3 billion fund that the provinces can draw on for infrastructure upgrades to long-term care. That’s in addition to our record almost $60 billion commitment over 10 years to the public healthcare system, universal access with no conditions. We need to partner with the provinces, not create fights. And long-term care learning from the gaps in the first part of this pandemic is something we need. And I have to address-

Shachi Kurl: (01:46:05)
Would you put a loved one in long-term care tomorrow, Mr. O’Toole?

Erin O’Toole: (01:46:05)
Absolutely. I have a grandmother in one.

Shachi Kurl: (01:46:06)
All right.

Erin O’Toole: (01:46:06)
And we’ve been in touch with her. But I have to touch on what Mr. Trudeau said about the recovery. We have to get through the pandemic first. Why did you not have that approach to the election, Mr. Trudeau? We’re in the fourth wave. Everything in the recovery relates to getting out of the pandemic. [crosstalk 01:46:21].

Shachi Kurl: (01:46:20)
Mr. Blanchet, I’m going to let Mr. Blanchet in.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:46:26)
You have had four minutes more than I did. So now, I think it’s enough. The debate is almost over. Some dads and some moms don’t have to worry. They will have the money of course. Some do. And in order to give them the care they need, the care they deserve, those responsible for those cares, provinces and Quebec should have without conditions because it is their responsibility, they are knowledge, the expertise, the resources required. When the army came in Quebec, they wrote a report afterward. What did they say? They did not say Quebec is not good enough to take care of its seniors, they said they lacked resources. They lacked the money which was kept by the federal government.

Shachi Kurl: (01:47:17)
Thank you, Mr. Blanchet. Leaders, we’re running out of time. I am sorry. I am sorry. Mr. Trudeau, you’ve had the most time tonight. I’m sorry, Mr. Trudeau. We are now moving on to our final journalist of the night. I am welcoming Evan Solomon from CTV News. He’s going to be putting questions to you on COVID recovery, starting with Mr. Singh. Hey, Evan.

Evan Solomon: (01:47:39)
Hi, Shachi. And hi, leaders. Good to see all of you. Mr. Singh, I’ll start with you, sir. Your pandemic recovery plan is uncosted. You have no plan to balance the books, but you promised to pay for your expensive promises, new programs like universal dental care with taxing the super rich and taxing corporations. What specifically would you do to create the one million jobs you’re promising and make sure Canada stays competitive?

Jagmeet Singh: (01:48:06)
We have the only credible plan that’s not going to cut help to Canadians, that’s not going to put the burden back on the same people that have struggled. We’re the only ones on this debate table that can say clearly we would tax the billionaires, we would make sure companies like Amazon start paying their fair share so we can invest in those new jobs, so we can invest in people. Left to Mr. Trudeau or Mr. O’Toole, they are going to put the burden back on you. They’ve already started. Mr. Trudeau has already started by cutting the CRE, cutting help to people.

Evan Solomon: (01:48:37)
But what new programs, sir, specifically?

Jagmeet Singh: (01:48:39)
Well I believe in making sure we invest in PharmaCare. We invest in dental care. We invest in retrofitting homes and buildings. In doing this, we’re going to lower the cost of living, how people save money, but also create jobs by investing in the future economy, the economy of the future.

Evan Solomon: (01:48:53)
All right. Mr. Trudeau, to you. Only four months ago, you released a budget that was built as a pandemic recovery program, a plan that had $101 billion of new spending. Since then, COVID numbers are up, growth numbers are down. Now, you’ve got a new plan that adds $78 billion of new spending, essentially rendering your last budget out of date. How do Canadians trust that these new massive spending promises will not just keep growing in another few months? And what do you say to the next generation who say, “How are we going to pay for this?”

Justin Trudeau: (01:49:24)
First of all, I made a promise during this pandemic to have people’s backs. Every time I came out of my house early on in the pandemic to talk directly to Canadians, I told them I’d be there for you. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. And it wasn’t just being there for people because we’re nice, although of course we are, it was being there because that is the best way to ensure a strong recovery. Now, yes, our budget showed our ambition for this country, including with $10 a day childcare that Mr. O’Toole is planning on ripping up. But we also show a responsible fiscal track. And even with our fully cost of platform that is even more ambitious on the fight against climate change, on housing, on supports for people, the debt of our country as proportion of the GDP continues to decrease.

Evan Solomon: (01:50:10)
Yes or no, is it important to have a plan to balance the budget because you don’t have one? Yes or no?

Justin Trudeau: (01:50:13)
It is important to stay fiscally responsible, and that’s what we’re doing. Our debt continues to decrease as a share of our GDP.

Shachi Kurl: (01:50:19)
We’ve got to move on.

Evan Solomon: (01:50:20)
Ms. Paul, to you now. You have not been clear if you support the need for vaccine passports or mandatory vaccines for federal workers or even mandatory vaccines for your own candidates. Given that the fourth wave is really a pandemic of the unvaccinated and threatening to overwhelm many healthcare systems, how do you justify not supporting the very measures that have proven to be most effective at increasing vaccination rates?

Annamie Paul: (01:50:45)
Evan, we just filmed the video today asking everyone to get vaccinated. We have been unequivocal in our support for vaccinations.

Evan Solomon: (01:50:54)
Mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports.

Annamie Paul: (01:50:57)
Well again, this is again where policy gets put aside for partisan advantage because everyone on this stage understands that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. We need to encourage people to do it. Vaccine saves lives. And every single person on this stage has also said that of course there are going to be people who are not able to get vaccinated for certain reasons. And we have to reasonably accommodate them. We will always be guided by the science. We will never put partisan concerns ahead of public health.

Evan Solomon: (01:51:31)
Mr. O’Toole, you promise a $60 billion increase in healthcare transfers over the next 10 years. But according to the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer, it’s actually only a transfer of $3.6 billion for the next five years, which is not much different than the status quo. But you also support private public synergies in your words. Can you specify here tonight exactly what kinds of private healthcare innovations you want to see more of? And if a province introduces more private healthcare, would you enforce the Canada Health Act by holding back any of your promised funding?

Erin O’Toole: (01:52:06)
I 100% support our public and universal system. I’ve said it’s paramount. And after COVID-19, we need to rebuild it. So we have the most substantive plan to do that. 6% increase per year, stable, predictable, without conditions funding to partner with our provinces. We will respect them running and putting priorities to get wait times down, to give more choice for universal public access. That’s what we need. On top of that, Evan, we have a substantial commitment in mental health and treatment for addiction. There are going to be lingering assets from this pandemic that we’re going to do in addition.

Evan Solomon: (01:52:43)
But can you be specific?

Erin O’Toole: (01:52:46)
The province [inaudible 01:52:47] charge of their system, we will respect that. Public and universal elements need to be at the core of our system and our investments will save it and give relief to front lines like our nurses.

Evan Solomon: (01:52:58)

Erin O’Toole: (01:52:59)
Physicians. Mr. Trudeau doesn’t hire those people.

Shachi Kurl: (01:53:01)
All right.

Erin O’Toole: (01:53:01)
It’s the provinces.

Shachi Kurl: (01:53:02)
All right, we’ve got to wrap you, Mr. O’Toole.

Evan Solomon: (01:53:04)
Mr. Blanchet, Quebec has relied on the federal government for life-saving vaccines and key programs like the CERB. And as you mentioned, the Canadian armed forces came in to save people in long-term care homes in the province of Quebec. Some believe this crisis has enforced the argument for a strong federation and undermines your fundamental argument of separatism. Given that, if the federal government, say, gives a billion dollars for long-term care homes, which Quebec failed to protect, why should they not also enforce national standards?

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:53:35)
I have still not heard from all those brilliant people all over the place and all over Canada what the Canadian can do that a Quebecer cannot do. In what way whatsoever would a Canadian norm be any better than a Quebec norm? I don’t see that. And I don’t have this complex. I don’t feel that I’m any lesser person than a Canadian because I’m a Quebecer.

Evan Solomon: (01:54:01)
I’m asking about enforcing national standards. If you pay for [inaudible 01:54:04], you’ll be able to enforce it.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:54:04)
So I am against national norms or standards. And I would say that the premier [inaudible 01:54:10] of Quebec today said no one is to be entirely trusted in this group of people. Some are worse than others. I think they recognize themselves. But even those who are less terrible need a watchdog, because they’re not entitled to a majority government. So if Quebecers want, I will lead the watchdogs.

Evan Solomon: (01:54:30)
Okay. This is the open debate section. And I’ll start with you, Mr. O’Toole. But everyone, please jump in. Not all at once. The pandemic recovery is about the future path of Canada, and all of the leaders here tonight have made promises that require historic levels of spending. But as you all know, politics is about hard choices. With some Canadians still in real need of support and other industries experiencing real labor shortages, what specific programs will stay and what will go in the next year? And who will pay for all of this? Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (01:55:04)
That’s a great question, Evan, because we didn’t see the government adapt to the changing crisis. What we support and we all worked together, the wage subsidy, the CERB, needed to be adapted as there were labor shortages in Quebec as we can’t find enough people for restaurants and service industries. We need to target the highly impacted sectors. That’s what our plan, Canada’s recovery plan, does. We get those service, tourism, restaurants back on their feet, get people working. And with keeping cases low, we can then wind down the other programs because we need to focus on work. We have a job boost that will actually incentivize the hiring of people that have been out of work for 10 months or more.

Shachi Kurl: (01:55:45)
Mr. O’Toole, let Mr. Singh in.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:55:45)
Mr. O’Toole and Mr. Trudeau are jumping over each other about who is going to cut help to people first. I don’t agree with that approach. I don’t think it makes sense to say, “Oh I’m going to have people’s back, but I’m going to cut as quickly as I can. I’m going to cut the help to people who need it as much as they can.” We are the only party right here clearly is going to say to you you’re not going to have to pay more, we’re not going to cut any programs. We’re going to ask the 44-

Erin O’Toole: (01:56:10)
Mr. Singh-

Jagmeet Singh: (01:56:10)
Excuse me, sir. Hold on a second.

Shachi Kurl: (01:56:10)
Hold on, hold on. Let Mr. O’Toole respond.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:56:13)
We’re going to ask the 44 richest billionaires-

Shachi Kurl: (01:56:16)
Mr. Singh. Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:56:18)
That’s what we’re going to do.

Annamie Paul: (01:56:20)
I think everyone can respond to that because this is the second time that Mr. Singh has said, “We’re the only party where… Just us.” Mr. Singh, you know that that’s-

Shachi Kurl: (01:56:26)
Hold on, Mr. Singh.

Annamie Paul: (01:56:27)
Unless you’re trying to ghost me, you know that we also…

Jagmeet Singh: (01:56:29)
No, you’re right, you’re right.

Annamie Paul: (01:56:30)

Jagmeet Singh: (01:56:30)
Sure, the [inaudible 01:56:32] as well.

Annamie Paul: (01:56:31)

Jagmeet Singh: (01:56:32)
That’s two of us.

Annamie Paul: (01:56:32)
Thank you. Thank you.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:56:33)
You’re right.

Shachi Kurl: (01:56:33)
All right, Mr. Trudeau, you’re trying to get in.

Justin Trudeau: (01:56:35)
Mr. Singh continues to pretend that it makes no difference whether there is a progressive government or a conservative government. We know that it makes a huge difference to families whether they have $10 a day childcare, whether they have a government that has their back, a government that has a plan to move beyond the Harper targets on fighting climate change. Now, Mr. Singh may feel that for the NDP it makes no difference who forms government. I know for Canadian families, it makes a huge-

Shachi Kurl: (01:57:06)
Mr. Blanchet, you haven’t been in yet. Mr. Blanchet.

Yves-Francois Blanchet: (01:57:10)
[inaudible 01:57:10]. Wage subsidy. Did any of you three guys refund the wage subsidy that you received? Up to about $3 million dollars, that would be something at least for the principal. After that, there’s an important issue, labor shortage. They are promising jobs, they should be promising workers. We need people to work and that raises the question of productivity. This is the most important issue. And some programs should be turned toward that issue.

Shachi Kurl: (01:57:43)
Mr. O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole: (01:57:44)
In this pandemic election that Mr. Trudeau called after everyone asked him not to, he says he doesn’t worry about monetary policy and inflation. Now, he’s saying he doesn’t ever intend to balance the budget. He’s spending $424 million a day more than Canada’s bringing in.

Evan Solomon: (01:58:02)
The question was what programs will stay and what [crosstalk 01:58:05].

Erin O’Toole: (01:58:05)
We need to wind down the support programs in a fair way and get the country working again. [crosstalk 01:58:06].

Shachi Kurl: (01:58:05)
Thank you. Last minute of play, leaders. Last minute of play. Ms. Paul, five seconds to you. I’m coming to you. Ms. Paul.

Annamie Paul: (01:58:16)
Thank you. We have got to remember the pandemic is not over and all over this country people still need the benefits, they should be there until the pandemic is over. And to the people of Canada, it is unfortunate we’re in this election. You can see that there is a lot of work left to do. We need to get back to doing it in a more cooperative way.

Shachi Kurl: (01:58:32)
Okay, thank you, Ms. Paul. Mr. Singh. I see you, Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Singh.

Jagmeet Singh: (01:58:35)
One of the specific programs we demanded 22 times in parliament for Mr. Trudeau to expand was paid sick leave, because in this pandemic, people had to make the impossible choice going into work sick or not being able to because they couldn’t pay their bills. 22 times over 18 months we demanded an expansion and Mr. Trudeau said no to you and said no to your families.

Shachi Kurl: (01:58:58)
Last word to you on this, Mr. Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau: (01:58:58)
We are actually expanding sick leave to 10 days of paid sick leave for federal industries. Now, in the election, and this is important, you have seen tonight the extreme differences between the perspectives of these parties, we need Canadians to make the right choice-

Shachi Kurl: (01:59:13)
Leaders, that is it.

Justin Trudeau: (01:59:15)
So we can move forward together.

Shachi Kurl: (01:59:15)
We’re out of time. Evan, thank you. Leaders, thank you for your participation tonight. That’s it for the English language leaders debate. Voting day is September 20th. Get your ballots. Make sure you’re registered. On behalf of the leader’s debate consortium, I want to thank the crew, the producers, everyone who made this happen. I’m Shachi Kurl, good night. [crosstalk 01:59:39].

Speaker 10: (01:59:46)
Well that may have been the most critical two hours of the election campaign so far. The leaders duking it out in front of millions of viewers from the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau.

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