6 leaders, one stage: Official election 2019 English-language debate tonight

OTTAWA – Tonight the six main federal party leaders are squaring off on stage at the official English-language leaders’ debate of the 2019 election, and arrivals are underway with the main event beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Election day is two weeks away and tonight’s debate could be pivotal for what has so far been a tight race, with each leader looking to make a positive impression on voters, especially those who remain undecided.

The six party leaders taking part are: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, and People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier.

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They will be debating each other’s policies, proposals and politics under five themes: affordability and economic insecurity; national and global leadership; Indigenous issues; polarization, human rights and immigration; and environment and energy.

Tonight’s debate, and the French-language debate happening on Wednesday, are being hosted and broadcast by a new partnership of 10 news media organizations called the Canadian Debate Production Partnership, which includes CTV News, and was organized by the Leaders’ Debate Commission.

Both debates feature five moderators, including CTV News anchor Lisa LaFlamme, and the federal party leaders will also be answering questions from the Canadian public. The debates will be available on TV, radio, and online platforms in English, French, Italian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Punjabi, Plains Cree, Inuktitut, Eastern Cree, Ojibway, American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language.

There are viewing parties happening across the country.

In advance of the debate, there was some pre-showdown posturing, but each leader spent the majority of day 27 of the election hunkered down doing debate prep with their campaign teams.

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