With the first federal leaders debate in the books, a Castanet reader’s poll found the top issues in this year’s election mirrored those that were discussed in the debate.
The biggest issue for Castanet readers in the Aug. 5 poll was the economy, at 50 per cent of the 1,923 respondents.
Discussion of the economy took up the first segment of the debate, when the leaders attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s economic record.
“The way you deal with this is by sticking with a plan that is working,” said Harper fired back.
Leadership was the second highest priority for readers, at 26 per cent.
Harper’s leadership was attacked throughout the debate, from his response to terrorism, to the Senate scandal and his record on the environment.
The third biggest issue in the poll was the environment, at 15 per cent.
That mirrored the second segment of the debate, which revolved around pipelines and the environment as a whole.
Harper said he is optimistic the Keystone XL pipeline, from Alberta to Texas, will be approved by the United States. He also warned that his opponents would impose carbon taxes.
Harper claimed he has reduced greenhouse gas emissions since 2006, but Green party Leader Elizabeth May responded by saying emissions only went down during the 2008 recession and have been climbing ever since.
The bottom two issues were employment and security, at seven and three per cent respectively.
Employment issues were discussed quite extensively during the economic part of the debate, with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair stating Canada lost 400,000 well-paid manufacturing jobs under Harper, and Harper claiming he created 1.3 million jobs since the recession.
Security issues were discussed extensively, mostly surrounding Bill C-51 and the Conservatives' response to ISIS.