Day 2 of campaign sees three of four federal leaders set to debate

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau greets the crowd during a campaign stop in Vancouver on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — How do you debate a prime minister who doesn't show up?

That's the question for the leaders of the Conservative, NDP and Green parties today as they prepare for the first leaders' debate of the federal election tonight in Toronto.

Justin Trudeau isn't coming, choosing instead to spend the second day of the campaign in B.C. and Alberta, the latter hostile territory for the Liberal leader when it comes to the subject of oilsands development.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he's not surprised Trudeau isn't showing up, given the re-emergence of SNC-Lavalin in the headlines.

At an event in Toronto, Scheer said he also thinks Trudeau is skipping the event because one of the main themes will be foreign policy, and Trudeau has embarrassed Canadians on the world stage.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Trudeau's absence from the debate poses a challenge, given his opponents all want to argue about the fact it is Liberal policies that have failed the country.

The Canadian Press