Opposition leaders agree to Up for Debate interviews, Prime Minister silent

"We are pleased to see the leaders agreeing to these exclusive interviews and remain hopeful that the Prime Minister will join them." — Brenda Hildahl, NUPGE ACWI Chair

Ottawa (26 Aug. 2015) — Organizers for the Up for Debate campaign have confirmed that all four leaders of opposition parties have agreed to participate in one-on-one interviews focusing solely on women's issues. 

The interviews will be released on September 21 at a live event at Toronto's Isabelle Bader Theatre, along with comment and analysis. 

NDP, Liberals, Greens and Bloc agree to interviews on women's issues

The coalition was pressed to revise its original format after Prime Minister Stephen Harper flatly refused to participate in any debates outside those of the Conservative campaign's choosing.

"We need to hear from all leaders on issues ranging from violence against women, and child care, to equal pay for work of equal value, income inequality and investing in public services, "says Brenda Hildahl, Chair for the National Union of Public and General Employees' (NUPGE) Advisory Committee on Women's Issues.

"We are pleased to see the leaders agreeing to these exclusive interviews and remain hopeful that the Prime Minister will agree to the invitation," says Hildahl.

First time federal leaders directly address women's issues in 30 years

Ann Decter, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the YWCA and an Up For Debate campaign spokesperson, said,“We remain determined to put women's issues at the centre of this election. It may not be the debate we first imagined – but an alternative can get all party leaders speaking on the record to issues that matter to women. And it will still be the first time that happens in 30 years.”

Up for Debate continues to urge leaders to put women's issues on the map throughout the entire election — in the other debates and on the campaign trail. Campaign supporters are also engaging candidates and the public across the country to make sure that issues impacting women and girls are part of the national discussion in the lead-up to the election. 

The Up for Debate campaign is led by the Alliance for Women’s Rights, a non-partisan network of over 175 organizations for women’s rights, Indigenous rights , human rights, and including international developmentorganizations, faith-based and community groups, unions, and business associations. NUPGE supports the work of Up for Debate.

More information: 

Up for Debate

All Together Now! campaign election material


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE