Federal leaders' debate, as it happened

Recap the exchanges, analysis and fact checks as the six main party leaders faced off for the first time. More here.

    And that wraps up our debate
    Here's a look from inside the museum at the six party leaders that participated. Scrums are to come and we'll be carrying them live.
    The leaders' will return to the stage Thursday for a French-language debate.
    (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
    Snap judgement: Rosie Barton won this debate.
    The Conservative camp will be very pleased with this last exchange between Bernier and Scheer. 
    Bernier accused Scheer of not being a real conservative. Scheer rebutts that with a quick review of all the ideological twists and turns of Bernier's political career, which has been the opposite of consistent, notwithstanding the strength of conviction he's now selling.
    But Scheer saves some time to get back to rounding on Trudeau. This. is. exactly. what. they. prepped. him. to. do.
    The fact that the Conservative war room did not launch a shiny object tonight, the way they did last Wednesday with the "Trudeau has two planes" reveal, is probably a sign that the Tory war room doesn't want to get in the way of what they felt were some stronger moments from Scheer than we'd seen in his previous two debates. I think Scheer gets the "most improved" nod, after two previous rough go's.
    Some thoughts on the two leaders I was tasked to keep an eye on:
    Bernier wasn't particularly present during the latter two-thirds of the debate, but he was front-and-centre at the outset when more people might have been tuning in. Whether or not they liked what he had to say, this was probably the biggest audience Bernier has ever had. We'll see if that manages to get his party off the floor in terms of support, but there was no particular moment that stands out for me as a catalyst for a significant bump.
    Blanchet did what he had to do, get his points across, not say anything that will get him in trouble. He had a few good zingers, which might get some play in the French-language media, and no one really bothered to lay a hand on him. So, pretty much par for the course for a Bloc leader in an English-language debate.
    More broadly, the polls are (marginally) suggesting that the Liberals and NDP are on a small upswing and the Conservatives and Greens are heading in the other direction. I'm not so sure there was anything in this debate that will change that.
    Singh, on the other hand, has been a consistent performer across the three debates. Even in his second language, he had energy, poise and humour on offer to an audience for whom he is still relatively unknown. His goal was not to get lost in the shuffle when Trudeau and Scheer faced off, to keep the NDP in the mix despite being a distant third in the polls. He accomplished that a couple of times by interrupting their bickering with a positive, alternative message. Smart tactically.
    Still waiting on those leaders
    They are likely still recovering from the fast and furious format of that debate but will be facing reporters shortly. 
    (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
    Some are active on social media though
    Justin Trudeau just tweeted this attack on Andrew Scheer post-debate:
    Scheer did not tweet during the debate, although the Conservative party tweeted he had won the debate, just as they did following the TVA debate.
    Trudeau, befitting the incumbent, was on the defensive. Scheer, in particular, swung hard at him, but Singh and May took their shots too. Pretty hard to "win" a debate when you're the one everyone is attacking. But I suspect the Liberals will think Trudeau held his own and scored some points.
    On May: she was, befitting her spot in the political debate, the pleading and passionate voice of climate concern. I think a lot of how you think she did depends on how well you think Trudeau did to answer her. 
    Singh is scrumming now
    He is being asked about his third-place position in polls. He defends his debate performance: "I hope that people see in me someone who will fight for them."
    He also talks about tonight's inclusion of People's Party leader Maxime Bernier. He still believes Bernier shouldn't be able to take part.
    Singh elaborates on Bill 21, working with other parties
    The NDP leader says it is wrong to divide people based on how they look. He says he is not going to interfere with the court challenge. The bill is being challenged in Quebec Superior Court by two civil rights groups.
    Singh says he is willing to work with parties who advance things like pharmacare and says the only party he has ruled out is the Conservatives.
    Here's what Singh thought of the debate
    Just like after the TVA debate, he's now posted a video with his wife, wrapping up his thoughts.
    We've moved on to Blanchet
    The Bloc leader says he wasn't that happy with the format of this debate, a complaint that's being reiterated by many online.
    He says he is disappointed that Trudeau didn't answer whether or not he would allow pipelines in Quebec in the future. The party is against new pipelines — especially Energy East, the proposed pipeline that would have run right through Quebec.
    Blanchet talks about Bill 21, Quebec relations
    He says he thinks some of the leaders were contradicting themselves in English tonight based on what they have said previously in French about Bill 21. He says Trudeau has been clear on his Bill 21 stance but thinks Scheer and Singh have not been clear. 
    He believes federal relations with Quebec should be different. He says the Bloc has been rising in the polls.
    So what has the Bloc said post-debate online?
    The party's social account reiterated basically what we just heard Blanchet say in his recently-wrapped press conference. 
    Blanchet is hoping to hear the leaders say the same things in French on Thursday night, when all the leaders will take place in a French-language debate.
    May speaks about her debate performance
    The Green Party leader says she feels like she got to bring up the points she wanted to bring up. She says it is a "real option" to vote Green.
    She doubles down that she would not whip any Green MP votes.
    May wraps up scrum
    With no questions left for her, May leaves the mic.
    "I had fun tonight," she says.
    Greens' tweets have been limited
    But the party did tweet out one of their leaders' biggest statements tonight right at the end of the debate ⁠— and plug their climate platform.
    In addition to this, Elizabeth May says she hoped Justin Trudeau wouldn't win a majority government.
    Next up: Trudeau
    The Liberal leader is also being asked about Bill 21. He says he would not close the door to an intervention on bill challenges, something he reiterates many times.
    He is also asked about pipelines in Quebec. He says he would follow a process put in place to make future decisions but says there is no current plans for a pipeline through Quebec.
    Trudeau talks debate, more on Bill 21, pharmacare
    He says he was very happy many of the questions ended up being about climate change, a topic he keeps pivoting to. 
    Trudeau reiterates he is in "disagreement" with Bill 21. He brings up Doug Ford, saying his party was ready to defend Francophone rights.
    On pharmacare, he says the next steps needs to be negotiated with the provinces.
    Scheer is up now
    The Conservative leader says he is "very happy" with how he did in tonight's debate. He says he doesn't think his campaign was damaged by attacks thrown his way by Justin Trudeau.
    Scheer is clarifying why he used the words "fraud" and "phony" to describe Trudeau during the debate. He says Trudeau is "not who he claims to be."
    Scheer talks Bill 21, debate format, Indigenous relations
    In a reoccurring theme during these post-debate scrums, Scheer was asked about Bill 21. He says he wouldn't intervene in challenges.
    Scheer says he wished he had more time to go back and forth with Trudeau. "But the format was the format."
    Scheer is now talking about his relations with Indigenous groups. "We will take our duty to consult very seriously," he says when asked about Indigenous groups and big infrastructure projects. He clarified his position on seeking a judicial review of First Nation child welfare compensation. He said he believes it is the appropriate thing to do.
    He claims mining is the biggest employer of Indigenous Canadians, so its worth a fact check on that.


    Claim: Scheer claims mining is the biggest employer of Indigenous Canadians.
    Verdict: This is pretty much correct - to be more precise: the single largest private sector employer

    From the 2019 Canadian Mining Labor Market Outlook: “Indigenous people represented close to seven per cent of the mining workforce in Canada in 2016, up from roughly five per cent in 2011. Most of the Indigenous people in the mining industry are either Métis or First Nations. Indigenous people are better represented in the mining industry (seven per cent) than all other industries (four per cent).”

    Last to scrum: Bernier
    The People's Party leader says he was happy with his debate exchanges with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. He says he had been waiting for this moment and says he was very happy the commission reconsidered and let him debate.
    Bernier says he is happy with his current position as leader of the People's Party rather than the Conservative party. He says it is his happiest moment in politics.
    Worth noting: Bernier takes a question from right-wing outlet The Rebel (as did Justin Trudeau), who were given last minute accreditation to cover tonight's election debate after a ruling by a Federal Court judge.
    Bernier talks about the debate, immigration
    Bernier says he was "the only leader to speak about policies." He says his party is the only "principled alternative." 
    When asked about Singh's objection to his participation in the debate, he replies: "We're in a free country. We have a right to our opinion." He says he was surprised about Singh's position.
    Bernier clarifies his immigration promises. He wants to dramatically lower the amount of immigrants from 321,045 (the 2018 number) to between 100,000 and 150,000. He says he would make sure many of these were economic immigrants. He would want a face-to-face interview with each.
    And that's a wrap!
    All the leaders have finished talking to the media, so it's time to say good night to this live blog. But our debate coverage continues ... you can get the latest articles on how the night went right here.
    All six leaders will return to Gatineau Thursday night and take part in a French-language debate, the final debate of the campaign.
    Bonne nuit!
    (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
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