Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Federal Green Party 'Stunned' over Snubs from Election Debate Organizers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Federal Green Party 'Stunned' over Snubs from Election Debate Organizers

Article excerpt

Green party 'stunned' over debate exclusions

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OTTAWA - The federal Green party says leader Elizabeth May is being unfairly excluded from two high-profile election debates, denying Canadian voters a full range of national viewpoints.

May has not been invited to an exchange of views on the economy hosted by the Globe and Mail newspaper and Google Canada, nor one on foreign policy planned by the Munk Debates.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau have been asked to take part in these debates.

In both cases, the organizers say they chose to invite leaders whose parties have official status in the House of Commons, which requires at least 12 seats. The Green party, Bloc Quebecois and Forces et Democratie each have two seats.

May has been invited to a number of other events with rival leaders, including one hosted by Maclean's magazine early next month.

Green party spokesman Julian Morelli said in an interview that he privately asked the Globe and Munk organizers to reconsider their decisions, without success.

Morelli said he is "quite stunned" that the organizations would leave May off their invitation lists with no "solid rationale."

"We're not begging to be in these debates with the Globe or Munk, nor should we have to," he said. "This is about Canadians having an opportunity to hear from all the leaders in a forum that's unscripted."

The run up to the general election, expected in October, will see a variety of encounters in different formats -- unlike other recent ballots when major leaders debates have been limited to televised exchanges in English and French.

Sean Humphrey, the Globe and Mail's vice-president of marketing, defended the format of the newspaper's planned Calgary event, to be streamed live on globeandmail. …

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