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Monday, September 27, 2021

Dates and venue set for federal leaders’ debates ahead of Sept. 20 election

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With a federal election officially set for Sept. 20, the dates and venues of the federal leaders’ debates have been announced.

The Debate Broadcast Group announced on Sunday that the French-language debate will take place on Sept. 8 from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT and the English language debate will follow on Sept. 9 from 9 to 11 p.m. EDT.

Moderators for the debates have also been decided.

The Sept. 8 French language debate will be moderated by Patrice Roy with journalists Helene Buzzetti, Guillaume Bourgault-Cote, Paul Journey and Marie Vastel participating. Noemi Mercier will moderate a separate segment that will include questions asked by Canadians.

The Sept. 9 English debate will be moderated by Shachi Kurl, President of the Angus Reid Institute. Participating journalists will include Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period and CTV News Channel’s Power Play, as well as Rosemary Barton, Melissa Ridgen and Mercedes Stephenson.

Both debates will be held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. Topics for the debates will be announced three days before the events.

The debates will be produced by the Debate Broadcast Group, a partnership of 10 news organizations: CTV News, Noovo Info, APTN News, CBC News, Global News, L’actualite, Les coops de l’information, Le Devoir, La Press and Radio-Canada.

Both debates will be translated into American Sign Language, langue des signes quebecoise, Arabic, Cantonese, Italian, Mandarin, Punjabi, and Tagalog. Additional translation will be provided for the French-language debate in English, East Cree, Innu and Ojibway, while the English-language debate will also be translated into French, Dene, Inuktitut (Baffin) and Plains Cree.

In June, the Leaders’ Debates commissioner and former governor general David Johnston announced eligibility rules for federal leaders’ debates.

To be invited to take part in the debates, a political party must meet at least one of the three requirements:

1. Be represented in the House of Commons by someone initially elected under the party banner

2. A party’s candidates had to receive at least four per cent of the number of valid votes cast in the 2019 election

3. Public opinion polls taken five days after the election is called show national support of at least 4 per cent.

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