Leaders of main federal parties face off in the election’s first and only English debate

The five leaders of Canada’s main political parties are making their pitches to voters on the biggest stage of the campaign tonight as they face off in the first and only English leaders’ debate.

The event begins at 9 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on this page.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet will take part.

The themes of tonight’s debate are:

  • Affordability
  • Climate
  • COVID recovery
  • Leadership and accountability
  • Reconciliation

The five leaders will debate for the second straight night after Wednesday’s official French leaders’ debate, which was also held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.

The election campaign is entering its final stretch. Advance polls open tomorrow and election day is Sept. 20.

WATCH: Political strategists discuss how leaders prepare for debates on CBC’s Power & Politics

How do party leaders prepare for national debates?

2 hours ago

Three former political staff who have prepared party leaders for debates join Power & Politics to talk about the process and what campaigns focus on once the debates have finished. 10:00

The official leaders’ debates are organized by The Leaders’ Debates Commission, a non-partisan and independent organization.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was not invited to participate because the commission determined that his party did not have the required level of voter support — four per cent — five days after the date of the election call. Recent polling figures suggest the PPC has since overtaken the Greens in national support.

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