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Leaders gather in capital for potentially pivotal English debate

Last Updated Oct 7, 2019 at 6:30 am PDT

The Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. (Source: Google Maps)

All six federal party leaders are taking part in an English-language debate tonight

With virtually no movement in opinion polls, the debate is seen as possible game changer

Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer both have appearances planned in Ottawa ahead of tonight's debate

OTTAWA — All six federal party leaders are in the national capital today ahead of an English-language debate in Quebec that could shake up an election campaign that’s seen practically no movement in the polls since it began on Sept. 11.

Leaders don’t usually reveal much new about their plans for what they’d do with power, but how they come off when facing opponents directly can buoy or sink a campaign.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew cheer, the two front-runners, both have events in Ottawa this morning: Trudeau has a photo-op with teachers and Scheer is promising an announcement at a downtown hotel.

The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh and the Greens’ Elizabeth May appear to be fighting for third place, both looking to pick up seats especially on the West Coast.

The Bloc Quebecois’ Yves-Francois Blanchet has little to gain or lose in front of a national audience primarily of English-speakers, while the People’s Party’s Maxime Bernier is counting on the national debates to introduce himself as a populist alternative to the major parties.

This is the first of two debates taking place this week in a theatre at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que, with a French-language version coming Thursday.

The election is in two weeks, on Oct. 21.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2019.