A woman’s issue debate is being cancelled following news that the Conservative and NDP leaders won’t participate.
Organizers for the Up for Debate, a coalition of dozens of women’s groups and other organizations, says that has now been cancelled due to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair pulling out.
The debate was scheduled for Sept. 21 and had originally been envisioned as a live broadcast debate with all five major party leaders.
Mulcair says he backed out because he’s not taking part in any debates without Harper.
According to the NDP, Mulcair was the first of the major party leaders to agree in principle to the debate and has been working with Up for Debate, looking for other ways to highlight women’s issues through their campaign.
As for Harper, he’s rejecting the traditional debates run by a consortium of the major broadcasters. However, he has agreed to participate in a Sept. 17 Calgary debate sponsored by the Globe and Mail and Google Canada, and a French-language debate on Quebec’s TVA network on Oct. 2.
Up for Debate spokeswoman Melanie Gallant says organizers are now reaching out to candidates to do one-on-one interviews.