What was said on the campaign trail Monday

“B.C.as the Asia-Pacific gateway, is in a particularly good position to benefit”, McLeod said, citing new trade advantages for the forest, mining and technology sectors.

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A historic trade pact among a dozen Pacific-rim nations will get its first popularity test in Canada, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper tries to sell the agreement ahead of elections in two weeks. “If the NDP looks like it’s in trouble in the place where it won the most seats, maybe [voters will] start thinking about “it’s time to vote for the Liberals, because they would be the best opportunity to replace the Conservatives, ‘” Bricker said.The race has been volatile, Bricker said, with all three parties, at one time, leading during the campaign“.

“It’s so incomprehensible for them to go against the deal”.

Central to Mulcair’s message was the idea of positioning the NDP as the party of hope and optimism to replace what he called Conservative leader Stephen Harper’s politics of fear and division.

Mulcair has repeatedly accused the Conservatives of enacting policies that cost 400,000 manufacturing jobs since the recession in 2008, including 43,000 in Canada’s auto industry.

Will Mulcair’s performance stop the NDP’s slip in the polls?

NDP leader Tom Mulcair is taking the fight straight to Harper in Southwestern Ontario where jobs are at risk because of the TPP.

Mulcair couldn’t even bring himself to believe Harper would come through on his commitment to disclose details of the agreement.

Eurasia Group, a Washington-based geopolitical consultancy, said in a note to clients that Canada’s ratification of the TPP “hinges on whether Mr. Harper is re-elected. With the TPP he’ll fail families again”, the handout reads.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says Canada must be part of any TPP deal, but objects to the secretive way in which the Conservatives have conducted the talks.

Johnston, 74, who is appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the prime minister, is usually a figurehead who presents awards and attends commemorative events while also giving routine royal assent to Canadian laws once they pass parliament.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau held what the Liberals billed as their largest rally of the campaign at a sports and entertainment complex in Brampton, Ont., on the outskirts of Toronto.

The Liberal party favours trade, he said.

“We’ve got a clear plan – it’s been costed, it’s not going to be dumped on the backs of future generations because that’s the antithesis of sustainable development”, Mulcair said.

He added: “We have a possibility of being in what could be the largest trade deal in history.” Unlike Harper, many other national governments have been transparent with their citizens and legislatures throughout the process. But with a divided opposition, each wing facing its own kind of regional and ideological dislike, this “antagonistic voting” now seems close to a wash. The difficulty is that negotiations couldn’t be reopened at this stage to revise the terms.

The NDP still has a lead, but it’s only six percentage points – and it’s a drop of almost 20 percentage points from their highest level of support in the province.

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Also under the deal, the country will allow an additional 3.25 per cent of foreign imports into the dairy sector.

THE CANADIAN PRESS  Adrian Wyld