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Debate Changer - Sept 17th


Good morning,

The week started off with messages focused on honesty and helping families and …the People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier being invited to participate in the Commissions’ two debates on October 7th and 10th

. We are now 34 days away from Election Day and for those who want to vote in advance, that is only 25 days away. The CBC has posted an interesting analysis on the 60 ridings that tell the story of where the election will be won and lost.

Until October 21st, let’s find out what is…


Tweet from @theJagmeetSingh - When you're in beautiful Saint-Hyacinthe at a Poutine Fest with @bsansoucynpd – you don't pass up on the offer to throw down the hammer 😀🤣 #elxn43 https://t.co/G2wcOps2E9


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The reaction from the People’s Party of Canada to the debate invite https://twitter.com/peoplespca

Conservatives ask the Liberal Party to fact check https://twitter.com/CPC_HQ/status/1173656974732513280

The relationship between Trudeau & reporters covering his campaign From @ @l_stone - First question to @JustinTrudeau today from @CochraneCBC asks if he'll take questions daily from journalists. Trudeau doesn't commit, says he looks forward to speaking with the media on a "regular basis."

The Liberals having to re-record the French version of campaign theme song after hitting sour note https://bit.ly/2kNsWzM

The relationship between the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs & Andrew Scheer https://bit.ly/2lPhmEp

Where you will find the leaders today.


Green Party leader Elizabeth May will continue her tour of Southern Ontario. At 10:15 a.m. ET, Ms. May will hold a press conference at the University of Waterloo for a plank announcement on Canadians' right to privacy. In the afternoon and evening, she will go to Guelph and Gravenhurst to support Green campaigns.


Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will head to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and at 8 a.m. ET, will make a policy announcement and hold a media availability at a child centre. From there he will travel to St. Peter's Bay, PEI to join supporters and make remarks at a 7 p.m. ET rally on candidate Lawrence MacAulay's farm.


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will make an announcement at 8 a.m. in Ottawa on the NDP's plan to make housing more affordable for Canadians. Following the announcement, Singh will visit Nickel Belt for the International Plowing Match and will hold a town hall in Sudbury.


Conservative leader Andrew Scheer will spend the day in Winnipeg with an announcement at 10 a.m. ET and then a meet & greet with candidate Réjeanne Caron in Saint Boniface.



The Bluesky strategists take on the Maxime Bernier being invited to debate.


From the desk of Susan Smith, Principal

The addition of Max Bernier to the official debates is a headache for Andrew Scheer and an opportunity for Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May. Andrew Scheer will need to protect his far right flank, those who may be inclined to support Bernier’s policies (with some reluctance, publicly) while training his sights on Trudeau. It’s important to remember that Bernier took 49% of the Conservative party vote on the 13th ballot at the leadership convention that chose Andrew Scheer.

Singh and May will be sparring with each other with one hand, and trying to batter the Trudeau record and vision, with the other. With Bernier in the mix, Justin Trudeau’s objective will be to strike a pragmatic, statesmanlike tone that reflects his understanding of the anxieties of some Canadians, while communicating his party’s vision for an inclusive, open, forward-looking Canada, with a responsible approach to the environment, our economy and our borders.


From the desk of Neil Brodie, Vice President

Let the circus begin.

With all due respect to Canadians who put their names on ballots and become party leaders, what is going to be gained by having Maxime Bernier at the ‘official’ leaders’ debates? And why Elizabeth May is there? I suppose there is a remote possibility the Green Party will hold the balance of power in a minority government (see BC) but Max is only there as a spectacle. The utility of televised political debates declined during the era of 24-hour news, and, arguably, dropped off the precipice in the age of social media. What Canadian in their right mind will tune in to hear 5 politicians talking over each other for 2 hours, unless you’re getting paid to watch?

Keep the participants to only those who hold Official Party Status and make the debate more watchable.

FYI - October 7 – Leafs vs. Blues and on October 10 – Habs vs. Red Wings

From the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant 

Debates Commissioner David Johnston threw a wrinkle into parties’ debate planning, deciding to invite Maxime Bernier to take part in the two debates on October 7th and 10th. All parties will now need to adjust their strategies for those debates, as one extra podium on the stage will mean less speaking time for the other five. Inviting Bernier will also change the tone of the debate, for the worse. Expect him to be combative and bombastic towards Trudeau and Scheer, making wild statements that he has become known for.

Scheer should be the most concerned about this invite. Not only will he be a target for Bernier’s attacks but Bernier is a better performer than Scheer, who seems stilted and stiff. Scheer should be concerned about a Mad Max with nothing to lose and everything to gain. For the other party leaders, their challenge will be to fight through the mosh pit of noise to be heard in this debate. Jagmeet Singh could have an advantage, as he’s the antithesis of everything that Bernier is running on.

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