Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau portrays main opponent as weak in key leaders’ debate

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau portrays main opponent as weak in key leaders' debate
Canadian political party leader leads second of three election campaign debates in Quebec
Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole speaks during a news conference after three two-hour second debates ahead of the September 20 election at the Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada September 8, 2021. Reuters / Blair Gable

September 10, 2021

by David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, facing a potential defeat in the September 20 election, used a major leaders’ debate on Thursday to target his main rival, calling him weak and ineffective. portrayed as.

Polls show Erin O’Toole’s Conservative Party has a chance to win the election and end six years of Liberal rule. Trudeau called the vote two years ago as a referendum on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau, sometimes agitated, lashed out at O’Toole several times, who has had trouble telling Canadians himself since taking over his party a year ago.

O’Toole says he will offer serious leadership to clean up a corrupt, incompetent and spending Trudeau government.

Trudeau accused O’Toole of harboring an extremist agenda and not being serious on topics like climate change. Trudeau also supports a mandate to ensure that people are vaccinated against COVID-19, a step O’Toole says is too far-fetched.

Trudeau said, “The problem with Mr. O’Toole and his principles is that he says all the right things and he’s working on reassuring everyone that he’s right there as a strong leader, but that he doesn’t want to be a candidate for his candidates.” Can’t convince him to get vaccinated.” .

Polls show O’Toole with a slight lead, as voters are unhappy with Trudeau’s decision to call the election early. (nL1N2Q20YW])

The leadership debate was only one of three in English, which is spoken by two-thirds of Canada’s 38 million people, and is traditionally seen as a major means of influencing voters.

However, Nanos Research pollster Nick Nanos said by email, “There were no major lapses and no knock-out punches from either party … it was not a game changer”.

Trudeau spoke about the other four party chiefs several times, forcing the moderators to cut him.

Ipsos Public Affairs chief executive Darrell Bricker said he didn’t see anything from Trudeau or O’Toole that would change the course of their campaigns.

“When he (Trudeau) tried to go to O’Toole it came out very hot and frantic. O’Toole wasn’t a huge factor tonight, but that’s okay,” he said by email.

Trudeau is fond of noting that earlier this year most Conservative lawmakers voted in favor of draft legislation that would have banned some abortions. The initiative failed.

O’Toole insisted that he was in charge and would not succumb to the views of hardline socialist legislators.

“I am driving the bus to bring this country back on track. And I’m here to defend the rights of all Canadians, women, members of the LGBTQ community.”

O’Toole recognized that in the past, conservatives had not done enough to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and needed to win back public trust.

A three-day rolling Acos phone poll of 1,365 adults released Thursday showed Conservatives at 33.6% public support, 30.7% for liberals and 15.7% for the smaller left-leaning New Democrats. The poll had a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer; Additional reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Dan Grebler, Peter Cooney and Jane Wardell)

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