As it happened: Federal leaders face off in French-language debate

Questions about abortion, airplanes and climate change marked the first French-language leaders’ debate between Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, Yves-François Blanchet and Jagmeet Singh.

Clockwise, from top left: Justin Trudeau (Liberals), Andrew Scheer (Conservatives), Yves-François Blanchet (Bloc) and Jagmeet Singh (NDP). FRANK GUNN / REUTERS / NATHAN DENETTE / CANADIAN PRESS

The leaders were given a minute each at the end to make one last pitch to voters.


The NDP leader started by referring to Trudeau, suggesting he “has surfed on his privilege all his life.”

Singh said his upbringing was different, referring to himself as “a fighter, a progressive, I’m for the right to abortion.”

He said he’s very different from Scheer and said Blanchet is too focused on Quebec-Ottawa squabbles

“I’m proud of Quebec, I believe in asymmetric, respectful federalism.” He said the NDP “will fight for the environment, for health care, for workers.”


The Conservative leader said Canadians “are tired of Trudeau and his out-of-control spending and endless deficits… tired of him embarrassing you on the international scene.”

Scheer noted that the Bloc can’t replace Trudeau (since it has no chance of forming the government)

He said the only choice is to elect a Conservative government that will put more money in Canadians’ pocket by lowering taxes.


The Bloc leader said by voting for the other three parties, Quebecers would be putting in Ottawa a government “without surveillance and without a voice for Quebec interests.”

Blanchet said the Bloc is the only one that will put Quebec’s demands front and centre in the House of Commons.

He urged voters to vote for Bloc candidates because they “resemble you, they hold your values, they share your convictions.” He said he will work “only for the interests of Quebecers.”


The Liberal leader said the Liberals are the best party to help young families and seniors and protect the equality of women and men.

He said the Conservatives “don’t share our values” and the Bloc will always be an opposition party.

“We need Quebecers in government to fight climate change,” Trudeau said.


Sparks fly in French-language election debate

Where and how to watch the TVA debate in English

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