Justin Trudeau again on the defensive during the second televised debate | Politics | America Edition

Canada’s top political leaders held the second national debate ahead of the Sept. 20 election on Thursday evening in which, again, interim Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struggled to defend the call for a snap election. .

Trudeau debated today in English with the leaders of the Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole, the New Social Democratic Party (NDP), Jagmeet Singh, the sovereigntist Bloc Québécois (BQ), Yves-François Blanchet, and the Green Party Gone, Annamie Paul, 24 hours after sharing the stage with the same protagonists for the debate in French.

And like yesterday, Trudeau was on the defensive for much of the debate and was unable to articulate clearly why he called a snap election amid the fourth wave of the pandemic and only two years after the election. previous.

Trudeau limited himself to stressing that it was necessary for Canadians to have the opportunity to decide on the measures to be taken to emerge from the crisis caused by the pandemic. But the opposition has accused the leader of the Liberal Party of dissolving parliament only because polls have put him ahead in voting intentions.

But since Trudeau called the federal election for September 20 to August 15, the Liberals have lost their lead in polls that now show the Conservatives are on track to win the election.

During the debate, Trudeau, who won the 2015 election by an absolute majority but only secured a simple majority in the lower house of the Canadian parliament in 2019, was pressed by opposition leaders on his environmental policies, its relations with China and the Afghan crisis.

It was precisely during the segment devoted to the diplomatic crisis with China, which erupted in December 2018 when Canada arrested Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the United States, that the head of the BQ slipped the politician’s name into the debate. The Spaniard Carles Puigdemont.

Blanchet said Trudeau’s human rights record was “not perfect” because the Liberal leader is doing nothing. And after having mentioned the policies of the Canadian government with regard to the Chinese Uighurs, Taiwan or Hong Kong, the sovereignist leader added to the list the former president of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

“We can name Catalonia and Mr. Puigdemont,” said Blanchet.

The pro-sovereignty leader, who after the debate accused the leaders of the other four parties as well as the debate host of insulting Quebec for allegedly insinuating that Quebeckers are racist, was referring to the decision of Canadian authorities from immigration not to allow Puigdemont to enter the country in 2019.

Puigdemont, who has lived in Belgium since fleeing Spain in 2017, was again invited by Blanchet in July this year to visit Quebec.

The former Catalan president has appealed to the Federal Court of Canada against the Canadian government’s decision to deny him permission to enter the country.

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