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OTTAWA — A few of the quotes and exchanges during the first federal leaders’ debate of the election campaign, involving Green Leader Elizabeth May, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh:
Singh: “I didn’t cut you off while you were talking. Now the people at the very top —”
Scheer: “I didn’t say things that aren’t true.”
May: “I would not cut spending and services. We need to massively expand services. We need 100-per-cent universal pharmacare. Jagmeet’s right — we have to bring in pharmacare.”
Scheer: “There are many laudable goals within this piece of legislation, many things that a Conservative government will support, that I will support as prime minister, but we cannot create a system in this country where one group of individuals, one Indigenous community, can hold hostage large projects that employ so many Indigenous Canadians.”
May to Scheer: “Consulting (with Indigenous Peoples) is not, ‘I will consult with you till you agree with what we’ve already decided to do.’ That’s not consultation and it’s not — it’s what Trudeau thinks is consultation, it’s obviously what you think is consultation, but it has to be free, prior, informed consent.”
Singh “When it comes down to it, the Green party and New Democrats share a lot of common, except for the following four points: when it comes down to it, we have a solid position, unlike the Greens, on a woman’s right to choose. We have a solid position when it comes down to —”
May: “That’s not true.”
Singh: “— national unity. We have a belief that we can’t leave workers behind and we strongly believe that we should not be putting Mr. Scheer in the prime minister’s seat, unlike Ms. May and the Green party who believe that’s the right choice.”
May: “Excuse me. Those were absurd statements. I’m awfully sorry.”
Scheer on his pro-Brexit stance: “I’m always in favour of countries’ being able to chart their own destiny and control their own internal affairs and it is now up to British lawmakers and the British people to determine what happens next (with Brexit). My focus is on restoring Canada’s place in the world.”
Scheer: “I think I found some consensus. I think we can all agree that Justin Trudeau is afraid of his record and that’s why he’s not here tonight. He has made life more expensive —”
Singh: “It might be the only thing we agree on, but we’ll agree on that.”
May: “We agree on that. … We can now sing ‘Kumbaya’ and keep going.”
The Canadian Press
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