Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh at Postmedia in Vancouver BC

"It's a historic Liberal strategy, that when a Liberal government was dealing with scandal and corruption, it tried to sow fear among Canadians".

In these debates the rookie leader, who is less comfortable speaking in French than English, has to show Canadians that he's ready to be prime minister.

For Scheer and Singh this will be the first debate with Trudeau and it's in their second language.

Scheer did not answer the question about his personal views on stage, and he has evaded such questions since before the election campaign began. Many social Conservatives backed Scheer's leadership bid in 2017.

Compared to Wednesday's results, the Liberals and People's Party are down ever so slightly, while the Conservatives, NDP and Bloc saw their support nudge forward.

"And that's exactly what I'll do and that's why I'll vote against measures that attempt to re-open this debate".

"I will make sure that a Conservative party will not reopen the debate", Scheer said.

"I can assure you that I support the right to individual MPs to speak out and bring, introduce matters that are important to them, but our party policy is clear on that and I think in order to maintain unity of our caucus it's important that the prime minister respects that", he said.

Trudeau also defended Liberal investments in foreign aid, although he would not commit to increasing spending to reach 0.7 per cent of GDP, which is a target the United Nations set in 1970.

That included Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who asked him directly whether he personally believes women should have the right to abortion.

Scheer said he worked in the industry for "six or seven months", and that his duties entailed "supporting the whole team" by doing preparatory work.

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When the environment came up, Mr Scheer noted that Mr Trudeau is the only candidate using two planes for his campaign, quipping that Mr Trudeau is using one for himself and the media and the other for his costumes.

The Liberals said the campaign is buying carbon offsets for greenhouse-gas emissions the planes produce, and did the same for two planes in 2015.

"The Conservatives are struggling with the fact that their values do not align with the progressivism of Canadians", Trudeau said.

Scheer has proposed a two-year tax credit for energy-saving home renovations that he says will help make Canadian homes more environmentally friendly.

That would help explain why the NDP, for example, has failed to make much progress despite Singh having run what many believe to be a smooth campaign to this point: progressive voters are anxious about the Conservatives and sticking with the Liberals.

Trudeau highlighted the "need to live in dignity", pledging Thursday to put in place further supports for palliative care and people with disabilities so that assisted dying is not a choice made for want of care.

He attacked Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for his lack of clarity on his personal position on abortion - something Scheer addressed in New Brunswick.

Singh was Toronto, returning to areas where he is hoping to take seats back from Liberals after an extended sojourn in British Columbia.

TVA did not invite either Green leader Elizabeth May or People's Party leader Maxime Bernier.

Tonight's debate is the first of three where Trudeau will take part, with two more next week organized by the new federal debate commission headed by former governor general David Johnston.

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