Another day, another debate cancelled.
The “Up for Debate” coalition (including Amnesty International, Oxfam, YWCA, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Canadian Labour Congress, Council of Canadians, KAIROS, Unifor and many others) had been working for more than a year to create the first leaders’ debate on women’s issues since the last time we had one ̶ in 1984.
I like to think the Canadian electorate is interested in gender equity, whether the question is one of pay equity or gender-based violence. Surely we need a forum to address the tragic numbers of murdered and missing indigenous women.
The Up For Debate website reports, “What we need is simple: we need a public space for conversation; we need a broadcast leader’s debate.
“The New Democratic Party, the Green Party, Liberal Party and Bloc Québécois have agreed to participate in a debate, but the Conservative Party has not.”
We know the status has changed. Recently Thomas Mulcair and the NDP said they only agreed “in principle” to a debate dedicated to women’s issues. Yesterday, Mr. Mulcair confirmed he would not attend, and, today, the organizers announced the debate is cancelled.
I would like to hear Mr. Mulcair explain why he has agreed to a debate run by the Globe and Mail on economy (without the Greens or the Bloc) but has rejected a debate on women’s issues that was inclusive. I would like to know how the NDP justifies excluding me from private debates, rejecting the CBC debate, and refusing the only debate on women’s issues.