On Monday night, the six leaders of Canada’s major federal parties gathered in Quebec, to face-off against one another for the first and only time in English. While the debate was an ideal opportunity for all six leaders to share their party's plans, explain their policies and hopefully earn some extra votes, it was also a golden opportunity to throw some shade at their political opponents, and things got pretty ruthless!
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was present, alongside Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet was also in attendance, as well as previously uninvited PPC Leader, Maxime Bernier.
Once the debate kicked off at 7 p.m. EST, it didn’t take long for things to get pretty heated, as all six of the party leaders indulged in some pretty serious shade-throwing from the outset.
According to Canadians on Twitter, here are some of the best one-liners of the whole night.
"Mr. Delay or Mr. Deny"
Following the Maclean’s/Citytv leaders’ debate earlier this year, Jagmeet Singh was hailed the king of all shade-throwing, after his hilarious one-liners resonated with thousands of Canadians. It seems that Singh was on fire once again last night, as it was the NDP leader who managed to get the most ouch-worthy zingers in throughout the night.
During a Scheer-versus-Trudeau argument about the climate crisis, Singh looked directly at the camera and said, “I want to say this directly to Canadians: you do not need to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny. There is another option.”
This turned out to be a very popular line with Canadians on social media, who took to Twitter to share their appreciation of the moment.
"He's Always Wearing A Mask"
Not prepared to get through the debate without bringing up Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal, Andrew Scheer made sure he got in a not-so-subtle dig at the Prime Minister.
Scheer said, “He’s [Trudeau] very good at pretending things. He can’t even remember how many times he put blackface on because the fact of the matter is he’s always wearing a mask.”
This "yikes!" moment went down pretty well with a lot of Canadians online, with one person referring to it as "the funniest moment of the debate."
"Worst Idea of Your Whole Non-Platform"
Green Party leader Elizabeth May also got a few good zingers in during the debate, with many Canadians taking to Twitter to applaud her for her hilarious one-liners.
Responding to Andrew Scheer talking about cutting foreign aid, May quipped, “That might be the worst idea of your whole non-platform," which went down a storm with many Canadians.
"You Say Publicly What Scheer Thinks Privately"
Not willing to be left out of the banter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also got a few digs in, taking a well-received double-shot at both Bernier and Scheer.
Speaking about immigration and diversity in Canada, Trudeau remarked, “Mr. Bernier, your role on this stage is to say publicly what Mr. Scheer thinks privately.”
"Who Is Worse For Canada"
Not willing to give up his "king of shade-throwing" title, Jagmeet Singh delivered another zinger to both Trudeau and Scheer during the debate. While the two argued between themselves, Singh interjected to say, “What we have here is Mr. Scheer and Mr. Trudeau debating about who is worse for Canada.”
Naturally, this remark was popular with Canadians on social media, who praised the NDP leader for his quick wit.
"You're Not Going to be Prime Minister"
Despite Singh’s consistent zingers, it is arguably Elizabeth May who managed to have the hardest hit of the whole debate. Speaking matter-of-factly to Andrew Scheer, May quipped, “Mr. Scheer, with all due respect, you’re not going to be prime minister.”
When Scheer said she’d be proved wrong, she responded, “I’ll take bets on it right now!”
While many Canadians clearly enjoyed the serious shade-throwing between Canada’s party leaders, it remains to be seen whether these quick-quips will be enough to encourage voters later this month.
Canadians will head to the polls on October 21.