A recently released theme list of the upcoming English Leaders’ Debate completely left out any mention of Afghanistan, the two Michaels or other pressing foreign affairs matters. 

According to a press release which details the topics to be mentioned during the debate, foreign affairs is suspiciously missing from the mix. 

The only listed topics to be included in the debate are affordability, climate, COVID recovery, leadership and accountability and reconciliation.

“These topics were chosen based in part on the 20,201 responses to a questionnaire that was published on the websites of Debate Broadcast Group partners, including APTN News, CBC News, CTV News, and Global News,” writes the release. 

The September 9th debate will be moderated by Angus Reid Institute President Shachi Kurl and CBC’s Rosemary Barton, APTN News’ Melissa Ridgen, CTV News’ Evan Solomon and Global News’ Mercedes Stephenson. 

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau has dodged questions pertaining to his government’s handling of the Afghanistan crisis repeatedly in recent weeks. 

Trudeau was criticized for his late entrance in the evacuation efforts and the failure of leaving an unknown number of Canadians and Afghan interpreters behind. 

“We were calling for action to get people out, to work with our allies. We’ve been demanding this for months and, in some cases, years. The Trudeau government has failed to act and they have abandoned people on the ground in Afghanistan,” Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole said about the Liberal government’s evacuation plan.

When questioned on whether his government had acted fast enough by reporters last month, Trudeau deflected questions on the matter. 

Instead of accepting responsibility for the matter, Trudeau chided the performance of the 2015 Stephen Harper government during the Syrian refugee crisis. 

“We’re hearing reports about Canadian citizens in Afghanistan who feel particularly abandoned by your government. Will you prioritize getting them out of Afghanistan now that resources are becoming scarcer and it’s becoming so much harder now over refugee applications?” asked CTV reporter Glen McGregor. 

“I think a lot of Canadians can’t help but reflect on this situation in this election when we are pledging to welcome tens of thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing terrible violence to what we lived through in 2015, when the Conservative government at the time was not stepping up to welcome Syrian refugees,” said Trudeau.