NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh delivered double-pronged takedowns of both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer at the federal leaders’ debate Monday.
“I want to say this directly to Canadians. You do not need to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny,” Singh said during an exchange on climate change, eliciting laughs from the audience.
“There is another option out there. We are committed to a real plan that’s gonna take on the biggest polluters, take on the powerful interests, cause that’s what we need to do.”
Trudeau had been saying that his party would fight climate change and build a strong economy at the same time, while Scheer argued the Liberal climate plan lets large emitters off the hook, and that “no Canadian” believes a carbon tax will leave them better off.
The three men shared a stage with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. It was the only English-language debate to feature all six leaders ahead of the election Oct. 21.
Earlier in the evening, Singh drew laughs for another zinger about Trudeau and Scheer.
The Conservative leader was invited to ask any of his opponents a question, and he brought up Trudeau’s multiple violations of ethics rules and the SNC-Lavalin scandal. “When did you decide the rules don’t apply to you?” he asked the Liberal leader.
Trudeau said that his job as prime minister was to stand up for Canadian jobs and the public interest. He said that he believes in investing in Canadians, “unlike” Conservatives.
Then Singh took the floor.
“What we have here is Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Scheer arguing about who’s worse for Canada,” he said. “We gotta start presenting who’s gonna be best for Canada.”
An NDP government would help Canadians pay their bills more than a Conservative one would, Singh said.
“Mr. Scheer, your small tax cuts are not gonna help a family that’s struggling with the cost of child care, which costs thousands of dollars a month.”
He said people would save more money by voting for New Democrats, who pledge to introduce universal pharmacare, provide dental care to households that earn less than $70,000 a year and create 500,000 new child care spaces.
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