Sault Ste. Marie resident asks question of federal leaders in debate

Photo posted by Mayor Christian Provenzano to social media.

By all accounts last night’s federal leaders’ debate, the only one to be held in English, was a ho-hum affair, without much of a stand-out performance by anyone involved.

However, if you watched the debate and then Twitter, you would have seen Marek McLeod ask a question which has been on the mind of many indigenous people about how they could trust the government.

“We’ve had 150 plus years of federal governments, but we’ve had 150 plus years of lies and abuse to indigenous people,” recounts Marek about his question. “how can I trust and respect, because trust and respect is so key to any relationship in Ojibway culture? How can I trust and respect the federal government? And then I essentially asked them, you know, as prime minister, what would you do to rebuild the relationship between the federal government and First Nations?”

That question had him trending last night on twitter. #Marek was the third highest trending hashtag at one point through the debate. People were calling him the winner.

“It was intense. I think that showed a little. It’s why I kind of blanked, at first. Then I kind of mustered up that courage and got the answer to that question, but honestly, I really enjoyed it,” said McLeod. “It was a good experience.”

Sault Ste. Marie Mayor, Christian Provenzano, posted about Marek, after seeing his question.

“Great to see Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council member Marek McLeod ask a question during #LeadersDebate,” said Provenzano. “Politics is better and our future will be brighter with involvement from youth like Marek.”

He listened intently to the answers, and we asked him if he had to trust one of the leaders coming out of the debate, who would it be.

He noted that the Green Party and Bloc Québecois answered his question well, but don’t have candidates here, however in the end, he would have to go with the NDP.

“Probably Singh, Trudeau and O’Toole, they said the right words but just their personal or party’s actions don’t really speak or show true reconciliation. I mean, Trudeau has had six years and O’Toole is on the record saying residential schools were primarily just for educational purposes, so I don’t really read much reconciliation from those two.” said Marek. “I felt that, you know, those three leaders, Jagmeet and (Green) Paul and (PQ) Blanchette, they had the most sincere answers.

He was grateful for the support he got from across the nation, and he relayed a final message from the evening.

“Chi-Meegwetch for all the support and love, and lets get some real action here.”

Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to bring you in-depth election coverage in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.


  1. Never believe anything politician says especially during an election for that matter. Just look at the Liberals promise for new housing for Canadians. Mr. Trudeau is now bringing in more Afghan immigrants. ( NEW LIBERAL VOTERS ) into Canada. The Liberal promise of new housing is for immigrants coming into Canada not Canadians. Immigrants must think their in Heaven went they come to Canada, payed for homes or condo’s , new cars and a generous living allowance all payed for by the Canadian taxpayer. All they are required to do is vote Liberal.

  2. Great Job, Marek.

    I cannot speak from your experience, but I was especially impressed by Ms. Paul’s remarks, who does speak from personal experience. She is black and she shares the pain of having her heritage and culture pillaged. Ms. Paul said that she has ancestors she can’t identify by name…has no idea who they are. How sad is that? She said we need more indigenous persons in the house of commons to guide the reconciliation process. And I agree. I hope Ms. Paul wins her seat; she would be a great asset to the House of Commons with this and other great ideas she discussed.

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