TORONTO -- Leaders of the five major federal parties are facing off in two official debates ahead of the Sept. 20 election.

Here is everything you need to know about the debates and how to watch, listen, and participate in the conversations.


The English-language debate will air on Sept. 9 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT and the French-language debate will air a day prior on Sept. 8 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT. will also have a fact-checking live blog on both debate nights, examining the leaders’ claims in real time.

The debates will be available on TV, radio, and online platforms. The English-language debate will also be available via translation in French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Punjabi, Plains Cree, Inuktitut, Dene, Tagalog, American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language. 

The French-language debate will be available in East Cree, Ojibwe and described video, in addition to the languages noted above, with the exception of Plains Cree, Inuktitut and Dene.


The two debates will be hosted and broadcast by a partnership of 10 news media organizations known as the Debate Broadcast Group, which includes CTV News, CBC News and Radio-Canada, APTN News, Global News, L'actualité, Les coops de l'information, Le Devoir, Noovo Info and La Presse.

Both debates will be held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.

The five topics for the French-language debate will be:

  • climate, cost of living and public finances;
  • Indigenous peoples;
  • cultural industries and cultural identity;
  • justice and foreign policy; and,
  • pandemic and health care.

For the English-language debate, the five topics will consist of:

  • affordability;
  • climate;
  • COVID-19 recovery;
  • leadership and accountability; and,
  • reconciliation.

The topics for the English debate were chosen based in part on the more than 20,200 responses to a questionnaire posted to the websites of the Debate Broadcast Group. Canadians were encouraged to submit their own questions for the French-language debate, of which there were 895 entries.


The participants for both debates are Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier is not participating in either debate as the party did not meet the qualifying criteria.

Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, will moderate the English debate, with participation from Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period and Power Play, CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton, Melissa Ridgen of APTN News and Mercedes Stephenson of Global News.

For the French-language debate, Radio-Canada’s Patrice Roy will moderate, with participation from Noémi Mercier of Noovo Info, Helene Buzzetti of Les coops de l'information, Guillaume Bourgault-Côté of L'actualité, Paul Journet of La Presse and Le Devoir's Marie Vastel.