Politics

A selection of quotes from the Maclean's federal leaders' debate

A selection of quotes from Thursday's federal leaders' debate hosted by Maclean's in Toronto.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, right, listens to NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair make a point during the first leaders debate Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

A selection of quotes from Thursday's federal leaders' debate:

"The other parties are proposing literally tens of billions of dollars of additional spending, permanent spending, to be financed by permanently higher tax rates and permanent deficits." Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

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"What we're seeing here tonight is that you're going to do everything you can to hang on to your job. I'm going to do everything I can to create jobs for average Canadians." NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to Harper.

Liberal leader says it's misleading for Stephen Harper to say that opposition parties are opposed to income splitting for pensioners 0:41

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"I'm going to stop you from hiking taxes on those average workers." Harper to Mulcair.

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"Mr. Harper's plan simply isn't working, we know that. Incomes are flatlining and household debt is skyrocketing." Mulcair on the economy.

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"You have completely become disconnected from the reality that people are facing right across this country." Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to Harper.

Tom Mulcair presses Stephen Harper on Canada's shrinking economy for the past five months 0:28

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"His minimum-wage plan actually will only help less than one per cent of every Canadian who earns minimum wage, and that kind of false advertising is simply irresponsible." Trudeau on Mulcair's call for a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage.

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"Over 100,000 Canadians will get a raise. under Mr. Trudeau's plan, not a single Canadian will get a raise." Mulcair in response to Trudeau.

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Tom Mulcair presses Justin Trudeau on what the Liberals' deciding number would be in a referendum on Quebec’s sovereignty 1:11

"There is no public trust anymore. People don't trust this government to actually look out for our long-term interest." Trudeau on the environment.

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"We have a weak and shrinking economy and it's the wrong time for austerity measures." Green party Leader Elizabeth May.

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"Instead of fixating on this splitting-the-vote non-problem, vote splitting, we need to focus on the real problem, which is that 40 per cent of Canadians in the last number of elections haven't voted, and vote abandoning in my view is a much bigger problem than vote splitting." May on the state of Canadian democracy.

Elizabeth May says carbon emissions have risen under Conservative rule 1:01

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"One of the things that, unfortunately, Mr. Mulcair has been doing quite regularly is talking in French about his desire to repeal the Clarity Act to make it easier for those who want to break up this country to actually do so." Trudeau.

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"The only two people I know in Canada who are anxious to start talking about separatism again are Justin Trudeau and Gilles Duceppe." Mulcair.

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"What I think I do question along with Mr. Trudeau is why bring up the debate of the Clarity Act, other than to satisfy the separatist elements within the NDP in Quebec? Nobody's talking about that." Harper

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"There is a movement at the United Nations to isolate and denigrate the state of Israel. This government has taken a very clear position: we will not support that. It is wrong." Harper on foreign policy.

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"I'll take no lessons from anyone on defending the right of Israel to defend itself, but we also take a very balanced approach. We want a safe state for Palestinians and a safe state for Israelis. That's a balanced approach." Mulcair.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, second from left, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper await moderator Paul Wells, left, political editor of Maclean's ahead of the National Leaders debate in Toronto, Aug. 6, 2015. (Mark Blinch/Pool/Canadian Press)