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Four federal-party leaders gird for French-language debate tonight

Last Updated Oct 2, 2019 at 10:16 am EDT

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh, and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. CITYNEWS & THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — Four federal leaders will take the stage in Montreal tonight for the first debate to feature Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Conservative Andrew Scheer, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh, and Yves-Francois Blanchet of the Bloc Quebecois will face off with Trudeau at 8 p.m. Eastern time, in a debate hosted by the private TVA television network and the Montreal newspaper Le Journal.

That means they’re spending most of the day preparing, though the Liberals have a campaign announcement featuring cabinet minister Navdeep Bains in Toronto and the Tories have one planned with Scheer’s Quebec lieutenant Alain Rayes in Montreal.

Trudeau is planning a visit to a boxing gym for a photo op, and Singh is going on a walkabout at a market, ostensibly to buy snacks for his preparation team.

The organizers didn’t invite Green Leader Elizabeth May or the People’s Party’s Maxime Bernier, both of whom are campaigning in and around their home ridings for the day.

Tonight’s debate is the first of three where Trudeau will take part, with two more next week organized by the new federal debate commission headed by former governor general David Johnston.

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