Summarizing the #GlobeDebate

By Vanessa King · September 18, 2015

The only memorable things from the Globe Debate were the silent moderator, amusing ding and constant shouting. The three leaders walked away unscathed with no major blows or wins as they debated their economic policies. Here’s our recap of how they handled key issues.

Small business

Trudeau didn’t escape barbs from Harper and Mulcair about last week’s comment that small businesses are a way for wealthy Canadians to cheat taxes. Looking less like a mall Santa, Thomas Mulcair delivered an amazing zinger right out of the gate with, “That was a really long sentence, Stephen.”

Energy and the environment

Mulcair pointed out the opportunities presented by green tech and the success of cap and trade models. He didn’t answer the moderator’s questions about revenue targets. Trudeau said Mulcair’s plan to impose cap and trade onto provinces is “nonsensical.” He wants to work with provinces to reduce emissions instead. Harper took some blows this round, but didn’t walk away with significant damage. He flagged the importance of recognizing the relationship between reducing emissions and economic growth, pointing to the instability of the energy sector.


Harper and Mulcair agreed on something! Unfortunately for Trudeau, they think his plan to run deficits makes little sense. Trudeau has pledged to run three consecutive deficits to fund his infrastructure plan. Harper said spending more just for the sake of it doesn’t make sense. Mulcair agreed, saying Trudeau’s plan is “reckless” and “mathematically not possible.” Mulcair said the NDP would raise money by closing tax loopholes and increasing corporate taxes by 2%.


Harper said the Conservatives were the first party to maintain levels of immigration when faced with a recession, and that two-thirds of immigrants are related to economic streams. Mulcair reminded Harper that foreign diplomas and credentials are still the top cause of unemployment among immigrants.

Housing bubble

This part of the debate was only noteworthy because of Mulcair’s second great zinger. After Harper pointed to the renovation tax credit as helping millennials, Mulcair said, “How do you renovate a house you can’t afford to buy?” BAM.

Key Takeaways

  • None of the parties are better or worse after the Globe Debate. Conservatives fought to defend their legacy, while the NDP and Liberals fought to show Canadians the differences between their parties.
  • May probably won by simply not being there.
  • Major topics like Indigenous issues, health care and postsecondary education still haven’t been discussed by the leaders. Sigh.

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