How to watch the leaders’ debate for election 2021


A week and a half before election day, five main party leaders face off in the official debates.

On Sept. 9, five federal party leaders face off in an English-language debate, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. The same leaders participated in a French-language debate the previous day.

Participants include:

  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
  • Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole.
  • NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
  • Green Party Leader Annamie Paul.
  • Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet.


The leaders will debate five themes:

  • Affordability.
  • Climate.
  • COVID-19 recovery.
  • Leadership and accountability.
  • Reconciliation.

The leaders will be asked questions crafted by the journalists participating in the debate, based on concerns submitted by Canadians. A public call-out by the broadcast partners brought 20,201 English-language responses.


Both events will be held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., overlooking Parliament Hill.

How to watch or listen

The debates are produced and distributed by the media outlets that make up the Debate Broadcast Group (CBC News and Radio-Canada, APTN News, CTV News, Global News, L'actualité, Les coops de l'information, Le Devoir, Noovo Info and La Presse), with additional distribution from other partners.

English debate, Sept. 9

The English debate will run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on various CBC and social platforms. We will update this page with links as they become available:

Visit the CBC News app for iOS and Android, or to follow the debate live, with live video of the event itself.

To reach the broadest cross-section of Canadians, the debates will also be simultaneously translated and available in the following languages and video formats. Follow the links below to watch:

French debate

You can rewatch the entire French debate in English on YouTube. You can also rewatch it in French on YouTube.

To read about and watch key moments from the French leaders' debate, follow this link.


Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, will moderate the English event, along with participation from CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton and Melissa Ridgen of APTN News, Evan Solomon of CTV News and Mercedes Stephenson of Global News.

Patrice Roy of Radio-Canada moderated the French event and journalists Hélène Buzzetti of Les coops de l'information, Guillaume Bourgault-Côté of L'actualité, Paul Journet of La Presse, Le Devoir's Marie Vastel and Noémi Mercier of Noovo Info also participated.

The journalists come from each of the media organizations in the Debate Broadcast Group and have deep experience covering political news.

  • Find out who's ahead in the latest polls with our Poll Tracker.
  • Use Vote Compass to compare the party platforms with your views.

How the debate producer was chosen

The Debate Broadcast Group was selected to produce the events by the Leaders' Debates Commission, the independent agency tasked with setting up two debates per election campaign.

To participate in the debates, parties must meet at least one of three of the following requirements set by the commission:

  • They must be represented in the House of Commons by at least one MP initially elected under the party banner.
  • They must have won at least four per cent of the national vote in the 2019 election.
  • They must show they draw at least four per cent of the national vote five days after the election is called, as demonstrated by public polling.

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