Key developments on the federal election campaign trail Sunday

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has promised to decriminalize marijuana immediately if his party forms the next government.


Trudeau unveiled the fully costed platform, A New Plan for a Strong Middle Class, during a campaign stop at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. It includes a mix of previously announced planks and new measures, including a suite of initiatives to help post-secondary students.

“I’m not going to speculate or hypothesize on this”, he said while emphasizing that his party is pro-trade.

Later Saturday, Harper was to make his way to an event in the Newfoundland and Labrador riding of Avalon – his first foray of the campaign into a province that has never shown him much electoral warmth.

Harper told supporters in Bay Roberts that those who work in the province’s fisheries sector would benefit from such a deal.

The Conservatives have insisted they would keep the supply-management system intact amid political pressure from opponents, provincial governments and the dairy lobby.

He added: “We have a possibility of being in what could be the largest trade deal in history.”

“Think about the family that’s been running that dairy farm for generations”, he said.

Upton is in the riding of Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, one of many seats that went to the New Democrats in the 2011 orange wave.

Which isn’t to say that the French-language federal leaders debate broadcast on the TVA network Friday – the candidates’ final public encounter before voting day – didn’t have its moments.

“You’re playing a risky game”, Mulcair charged.

Mulcair says they will bring the retirement age back to 65 and save up to $3-billion a year in health care with prescription group purchases.

“We’ve taken policies on this matter, a policy that is supported by the overwhelming majority of Canadians of all backgrounds”, he said.

“That is reflective of a profound contempt for Canadian values … you are targeting a community to play politics”.

Trudeau, of course, is the son of a prime minister who famously spoke a cosmopolitan French stripped of Quebec slang.

While many might view Harper using such dubious tactics as ludicrous, a few in the anti-Harper opposition have been searching for a way to reduce the likelihood of the Conservative Party winning a majority October. 19.

He also tried to shield his position behind court decisions that have ruled against a ban on face coverings during the ceremonies. “It also puts me ill at ease.” “This government is out of touch and out of ideas”.

There is broad support in Quebec for the Conservative and Bloc Quebecois position that women wearing the niqab should be forced to remove it when swearing the oath. “They’re our neighbours”, he said before a crowd that included former prime minister Paul Martin.

If you believe the polls, it looks as if something remarkable started happening this weekend, and it may well be happening because nothing much remarkable happened on Friday night.


Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe attends a rally in Montreal while Green party Leader Elizabeth May is taking part in a rally in Vancouver. She did not elaborate on what documents she has seen.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in Cambridge on his Tour for Change