As the 2019 federal election’s first leaders’ debate kicked off on Thursday evening, Canadians were expecting the leaders’ to come prepared with witty remarks, scathing criticisms, and fierce comebacks. 

With Justin Trudeau noticeably absent, and Andrew Scheer, Elizabeth May and Jagmeet Singh left to take part in the Maclean's/CITY TV debate without him, things got pretty heated, pretty quickly. While there were ‘ouch!’ moments all around, it was Jagmeet Singh who managed to pack the most devastating punches in, and Canadians were loving it!

Singh started off his night of burns pretty early on, firstly calling out Justin Trudeau pre-debate for not showing up. In a short clip on the debate stage, Singh said, “I’m really disappointed that Mr. Trudeau didn’t decide to show up. He’s not been there for Canadians for the past four years and now he’s not there today.” Ouch!

Singh was also noted telling Scheer a few times after some interruptions that, "I listened to you, you need to listen to me." 

From then on, there was pretty much constant banter from Singh, who managed to take multiple shots at Trudeau, May and Scheer throughout the course of the debate. 

It didn’t take long for Canadians to take to Twitter to praise Singh for his witty comebacks, and hilarious comments, with several people noting that he was clearly ‘winning’ the debate by a long shot!

One Twitter user wrote, “All I know about what's happening right now from the hashtag is that Jagmeet Singh is taking shots I suppose."

Another Canadian also appreciated Singh’s shade-throwing, writing, “Jagmeet Singh is stepping on necks and I am here for itttt."

As it turned out, it wasn’t just Jagmeet Sing’s fiery comebacks that got the Canadian public on his side, but also his genuine and more-serious answers to the issues brought up in the leaders’ debate. 

One Canadian Twitter user complimented the NDP leader on his accessibility, writing, “Jagmeet Singh’s stories are great. They are making him more relatable, adding credibility to his points, and demonstrating that he understands what empathy is. Where has this guy been?”

Another also appreciated Singh’s style of debating, tweeting to say, “Jagmeet Singh succeeding in bringing the focus back to in-studio issues whereas Scheer is trying to make the debate a pile-on against invisible Trudeau.”

If you missed Jagmeet Singh’s mega-burns, you can catch up with the Maclean’s/CITY TV leaders’ debate by clicking here.

Singh will debate again on October 7th, where he will face Andrew Scheer and Elizabeth May once again, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


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