May 22, 2015
By Andy Johnson
The Federal Conservative Party says Prime Minister Harper will not be participating in two of the federal leader’s debates preceding this fall’s general election. The Tories are sticking with their plans to participate in five independently organized debates hosted by media outlets like MacLean’s Magazine and the Globe and Mail. The decision spurns the traditional CBC dominated consortium of broadcasters which usually host the debates. That, in turn, has led to a high-stakes standoff where the CBC, CTV, Global and Radio Canada plan to set aside expensive airtime for a debate that might not include the Prime Minister at all. The consortium is betting the Conservatives will change their minds; the Tories are betting the consortium will cancel its debates. As it stand now, no debate currently planned, will feature both Harper and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.