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2011 leaders’ debate

The Story

For the 2011 federal leaders' debate, the round-table experiment of 2008 gives way to a more formal podium setup. The debaters have changed a bit too, with new Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff taking on debate veterans Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois), Stephen Harper (Conservative) and Jack Layton of the NDP. In a two-hour debate with plenty of opportunity for one-on-one engagement, the four leaders take questions from Canadians on the topics of tax cuts, foreign policy, parliamentary functionality, immigration, crime and health care.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: April 12, 2011
Guest(s): Robert Bahlieda, Jade Calver, Sam Diamond, Gilles Duceppe, Len Gold, Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, Veselka Omelko, Patti Ryan
Moderator: Steve Paikin
Duration: 1:57:49

Did You know?

• On March 25, 2011, Stephen Harper's Conservative minority government was defeated in a vote of non-confidence that found them in contempt of Parliament. The 2011 election campaign began the next day, after Harper visited Governor General David Johnston to ask that Parliament be dissolved.

  • Green Party leader Elizabeth May, who participated in the 2008 leaders' debates, lobbied hard to be included in the 2011 leaders' debates as well. The broadcast consortium that produces the debates denied her a spot on the grounds that the Green Party had never had a member elected to Parliament.

• Here's where to find each issue in this two-hour debate:
- Corporate tax cuts: 01:15
- Canada's foreign policy: 19:55
- Keeping Parliament functional under a minority government: 39:10
- Immigration and multiculturalism: 59:10
- Public safety and criminal justice: 1:16:55
- Health care: 1:35:00 




Leaders' Debates 1968-2011: Arguing for Canada more