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Poilievre and Lewis Fined $50,000 For Skipping Third Debate

The Conservative Party of Canada has fined Pierre Poilievre and Leslyn Lewis $50,000 for refusing to attend a third official debate in Ottawa on Wednesday.

“The rules of the race as set out by the Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) stipulate clearly that all officially designated debates are mandatory. There is an automatic fine provision laid out in the rules for anybody who chooses not to debate,” said Yaroslav Baran, the party’s spokesperson.

Rules state that “failure to participate in a Party sanctioned debate shall result in an automatic $50,000 penalty” from the $100,000 refundable compliance deposit requested as part of the candidates’ entry fee.

“At the very beginning of these discussions, they were informed that this is an official debate and by extension, that their attendance is mandatory,” he added.

Steve Outhouse, manager for the Lewis campaign, has stated that he's “well aware of all potential scenarios” but had not made a final decision related to Wednesday’s event. Poilievre’s team offered no comment.

The debate will thus only have 3 candidates — Jean Charest, Roman Baber and Scott Aitchison — for Wednesday night’s event. The three men will be seated around a table and it will be “more of a conversational format” than an actual debate.

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