Scheer ups attacks on Trudeau in Canada election debate

Gatineau, Canada, Oct 8 (AFP/APP):Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s main rival Andrew Scheer of the Conservatives came out swinging against the Liberal incumbent in a Canadian election debate Monday after a dismal week that saw him blow a previous matchup.

The televised grudge match brought together on stage a record six party leaders.

But the main focus stayed on the two frontrunners who are in a dead heat with only two weeks left before the October 21 ballot. Each is looking to sway a big block of undecided voters.

From the get-go, Scheer went on the attack, calling Trudeau “a phoney and a fraud.”

He raised Trudeau’s wearing of blackface makeup, his meddling in the criminal prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and his firing of the nation’s first indigenous attorney general “for not going along with his corruption.”

“You do not deserve to govern this country,” he said.

Trudeau shot back, criticizing Scheer for his underwhelming climate proposals at a time of global crisis, while defending his record over the past four years in office — including a strong economy, less poverty and low unemployment.

He also accused Scheer and his Tories of fostering “politics of fear and division.”

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