Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Economy To Dominate French-Language Debate

Workers put together the set for the upcoming 2008 federal election debates in Ottawa on Wednesday and Thursday. The debates will have a different format where the leaders will be sitting around a table. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

From CBC:

Leaders expected to court crucial votes in Quebec.

The economy is expected to be the most prominent issue in Wednesday night's French-language leaders' debate amid concerns about the effects of widespread U.S. economic turmoil on Canada.

Federal leaders are taking a break from campaigning for the Oct. 14 election to focus on preparing for the debate, which will feature more time devoted to discussion on the economy after a formal request from Conservative Leader Stephen Harper on Tuesday.

The request came on the same day the Liberals accused Harper of plagiarizing a 2003 speech to Parliament from an address made two days earlier by then-Australian prime minister John Howard, a staunch U.S. ally. Harper was urging Canada to join the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

After initially dismissing the issue as irrelevant, the Conservatives released a statement in which a Tory staffer admitted to being "overzealous in copying segments" of Howard's address. He resigned his current campaign position. Harper has yet to comment personally on the affair.

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