Major Canadian Election Debate Called Off Due to Trudeau No-Show

CAMBRIDGE, MA - MAY 18: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is interviewed by MIT's Danielle Wood at Solve At MIT: Plenary - True Stories Of Starting Up at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on May 18, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images for MIT Solve)
Paul Marotta/Getty Images for MIT Solve

A major Canadian election debate on foreign policy that was set to take place in Toronto has been cancelled due to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refusing to attend.

The Munk debate, which was originally scheduled for September 28th, was set to take place in Toronto, with the leaders of the three main opposition parties, the Conservatives, the leftist New Democrats (NDP), and the Green party, all agreeing to attend, CBC reports.

Rudyard Griffiths, who chairs the Munk Debates, expressed regret over the prime minister’s refusal to attend the debate saying: “the prime minister’s refusal to attend our debate has denied Canadians the only real opportunity they had this election to see his foreign policy record challenged in a substantive and sustained fashion.”

This is not the first debate Trudeau has walked out on in this election campaign. A debate hosted by the magazine Macleans and broadcaster CityTV was held without him earlier this month, with Mr Trudeau’s podium standing empty on stage during the event.

All three opposition party leaders attacked Trudeau during the debate with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh commenting: “Mr Trudeau hasn’t shown up for people for four years and he hasn’t shown up today for the people.”

“I think I’ve found some consensus. I think we can all agree Justin Trudeau is afraid of his record,” Tory leader Andrew Scheer said.

The Macleans debate occurred shortly before the massive blackface scandal that has rocked Trudeau and the Liberal Party he leads.

What started as a single image of Trudeau in blackface at an “Arabian Nights” party, turned into a scandal as more images of the Canadian leader in blackface emerged.

Last week, Trudeau claimed that he did not even recall how many times he may have darkened his skin, stating that he had forgotten about one of the three incidents revealed over the course of the week.

Polling released following the breaking of the blackface scandal has revealed a dip for the Liberals, with the Tories now slightly in the lead.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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