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Toronto – Women’s issues will be taking the forefront in the federal election with the Up For Debate campaign, and partners Twitter Canada, Toronto Star, Le Devoir, and YWCA Canada.

A national conversation on women’s issues will be broadcast live from Toronto’s Isabel Bader theatre on Monday, Sept 21. The free event starts at 7:00pm and will feature a lineup of commentators and pundits analyzing and debating clips from exclusive one-on-one video interviews with four of the five federal party leaders.

“We are proud to put women’s issues at the centre of this election,” said Ann Decter, director of policy and advocacy at the YWCA Canada and Up For Debate campaign spokesperson. “For the first time in 30 years we will see federal party leaders speaking on the record to issues that matter to women.”

The Toronto Star and Le Devoir will livestream the event, and will host the full-length video interviews on their websites in both official languages. Twitter Canada will broadcast the event via its Periscope app and will help promote the event on its social media platform.

“Twitter Canada believes the issues being discussed are of critical national importance,” said Steve Ladurantaye, head of government partnerships at Twitter. “It’s essential that we have these discussions publicly so we can start to move beyond talk and effect real change in the coming years.”

Marie-Andrée Chouinard, Communications Director at Le Devoir, said: “In line with its mission and values​​, Le Devoir is proud to partner in this debate where the parties will be asked to speak to issues affecting women’s rights.”

“This debate–and these questions–matter not only to women but to all Canadians. The Star is pleased to be working with our partners to advance and promote the discussion,” said Jane Davenport, Managing Editor of the Toronto Star.

The video interviews–focused on ending violence against women, ending women’s economic inequality and supporting women’s leadership–were conducted by well-known journalist and documentary filmmaker Francine Pelletier.

Emcee Jess Beaulieu – a Toronto based feminist comedian and writer, will be joined on stage by journalists such as the Althia Raj of the Huffington Post Canada, Laura Payton from Macleans, and Laurie Monsabraaten of the Toronto Star, and by Canadian thought leaders such as Kate McInturff, Senior Researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Alejandra Bravo, Manager of Leadership and Learning at the Maytree Foundation, Katherine Hensel, founder and principal lawyer at Hensel Barristers, a diverse practice focused on serving First Nations, and Angela Robertson, Executive Director of Central Toronto Community Health Centres.


For media inquiries about this event: contact Melanie Gallant, Oxfam Canada at 613-240-3047 or

For general admission tickets for the event:

For information about YWCA Saskatoon visit www.ywcasaskatoon, find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at


The Up for Debate campaign is led by the Alliance for Women’s Rights, a non-partisan network of over 175 women’s rights, Indigenous, human rights, and international development organizations, faith-based and community groups, unions, and business associations. For more information, go to

Up for Debate will be tweeting from the event using hashtags #upfordebate and #elxn42