HALIFAX -- Liberal Justin Trudeau accused a rival of resorting to negative tactics during a leadership debate Sunday as he attacked assertions his bid for the party's top job has been heavy on rhetoric but light on detail.
Trudeau took Marc Garneau to task during a debate in Halifax, saying the Liberals don't want to see the party "turned in on each other."
"That's why I'm relentlessly positive in this campaign, and that's why the top-down, backroom heavy negative campaign that has been run by other people in this campaign is something that I don't think Liberals want to see," said Trudeau.
The sparring between the two Quebec MPs was one of the more spirited exchanges in the two-hour debate that also saw candidates attack Joyce Murray's plan to work with the NDP and Greens to defeat the Conservatives.
Garneau said Trudeau has been ducking the big issues, telling the perceived front-runner Canadians deserve more than platitudes.
"I believe that Canadians want to see substance. They don't want empty words," Garneau said. "They may not like what I have to say, but at least they will know where I stand."
Trudeau said he has voiced his views on a variety of issues, citing his opposition to the Northern Gateway oil pipeline and support for the legalization of marijuana as examples.
"I've been just as specific as everybody else," Trudeau replied.
Trudeau has increasingly found himself the subject of attacks in recent weeks as the Liberal leadership vote nears.
Garneau has taken repeated direct shots at Trudeau, accusing him of being an untested, inexperienced rookie, and has challenged Trudeau to a one-on-one debate, an invitation that was declined.
-- The Canadian Press