trudeau was the tar­get

Lead­ers’ de­bate fea­tured cross-talk, af­ter-the-bell jabs

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - Joan Bryden and Mia rab­son The Cana­dian Press

OTTAWA — As Lib­eral Leader Justin Trudeau and Con­ser­va­tive Leader An­drew Scheer bat­tled in Mon­day night’s lead­ers’ de­bate over who has the bet­ter cli­mate-change pol­icy, the NDP’S Jag­meet Singh told view­ers they don’t have to choose be­tween “Mr. De­lay and Mr. Deny.”

El­iz­a­beth May, whose Green party is fight­ing with the NDP for third place, framed the choice dif­fer­ently.

“At this point, Mr. Scheer, with all due re­spect, you’re not go­ing to be prime min­is­ter,” she said bluntly at one point. She pre­dicted that Trudeau’s Lib­er­als will win at least a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment so “vot­ing for Green MPS is your very best guar­an­tee, Canada, that you don’t get the gov­ern­ment you least want.”

Re­gard­less of the ques­tion, Singh took every op­por­tu­nity to re­peat his favourite theme: that Lib­er­als and Con­ser­va­tives alike pan­der to wealthy cor­po­ra­tions whereas the NDP will fight for or­di­nary Cana­di­ans with in­vest­ments in child care, phar­ma­care and den­tal care.

In a de­bate that very of­ten fea­tured cross-talk from lead­ers who wouldn’t give each other an inch, and af­ter-the-bell jabs right be­fore a tum­bling ros­ter of mod­er­a­tors moved on to new top­ics, Singh cracked the most jokes.

More than once, some­one called him “Mr. Scheer” by mis­take; af­ter the sec­ond time, Singh said he’d even worn a bright orange tur­ban so they’d be easy to tell apart.

But in the main, like the other lead­ers, Singh was deadly se­ri­ous about his tar­gets.

“Mr. Trudeau does not have the courage to take on the in­sur­ance and the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal lob­by­ists who don’t want this to hap­pen,” Singh said. “You vote New Democrats, we’re go­ing to make sure we’re go­ing to make th­ese things hap­pen be­cause we don’t work for the pow­er­ful and wealthy ... We work for you.”

May prayed pub­licly that Trudeau would not be re-elected, with a plan to fight cli­mate change that in her view doesn’t move quickly enough.

His gov­ern­ment has done more on cli­mate change than any Cana­dian gov­ern­ment ever has, Trudeau shot back, and has made ma­jor pol­icy changes, such as in­tro­duc­ing a new child ben­e­fit, that have lifted thou­sands of fam­i­lies out of poverty.

Scheer called Trudeau a phoney and a fraud.

“Justin Trudeau only pre­tends to stand up for Canada,” Scheer said. “You know, he’s very good at pre­tend­ing things. He can’t even re­mem­ber how many times he put black­face on be­cause the fact of the mat­ter is he’s al­ways wear­ing a mask.”

Scheer ac­cused Trudeau of wear­ing masks on In­dige­nous rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, fem­i­nism and on his con­cern for mid­dle-class Cana­di­ans.

“Mr. Trudeau, you’re a phoney and you’re a fraud and you do not de­serve to gov­ern this coun­try.”

The for­mat of the de­bate gave Trudeau no im­me­di­ate op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to Scheer’s at­tack, but he re­peat­edly went af­ter Scheer at other times for his per­sonal anti-abor­tion views and for pro­mot­ing tax cuts for the rich.

Scheer rounded on Trudeau again later, rais­ing the Snc-lavalin af­fair. He ac­cused Trudeau of break­ing ethics law, shut­ting down par­lia­men­tary in­quiries and fir­ing two se­nior fe­male cab­i­net min­is­ters who ob­jected to his try­ing to pres­sure his for­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral to halt a crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion of the Mon­treal engi­neer­ing gi­ant.

“Tell me, when did you de­cide that the rules don’t ap­ply to you?” he said.

“Mr. Scheer, the role of a prime min­is­ter is stand up for Cana­di­ans’ jobs, to stand up for the pub­lic in­ter­est and that’s what I’ve done,” Trudeau re­sponded.

Adrian Wyld/the cana­dian PRESS

Party lead­ers stand for the oblig­a­tory smi­ley photo be­fore the de­bate last night in Gatineau, Que.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.