At at-a-glance look at main developments Monday in the federal election campaign:
1. THE FIRST PROMISE OF THE CAMPAIGN
Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid a visit to Laval, Que., to begin his first full day on the campaign trail. He delivered the first promise of the campaign: increasing the existing apprenticeship job creation tax credit, which was first introduced in 2006, to $2,500 from $2,000, and extending it to include the third and fourth years of eligible apprenticeship training.
2. JUSTIN TRUDEAU VISITS CALGARY
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau ventured deep into enemy territory Monday, staging a raucous rally in Calgary, a hotbed of Harper support. The Liberals have not elected an MP in Calgary since 1968, but Trudeau is anxious to change that, telling about 400 supporters that he intends to visit Alberta multiple times over the course of the campaign. He said voters in Alberta have been let down by the Conservatives, who have neglected the economy in order to provide tax breaks to the wealthiest Canadians.
3. TOM MULCAIR HEADS TO MONTREAL
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was conspicuous by his absence from the campaign trail Monday, even though New Democrat insiders made it clear that the party would not be active on the campaign trail during the first week. Something, however, may have changed: Mulcair is scheduled to attend an event and make an announcement Tuesday in Montreal. Maybe it was Harper calling the party’s Quebec caucus “the most ineffective group of any group of MPs in history.” Countered Alexandre Boulerice, one of the MPs in question: “I think he can see the NDP have some momentum.”
4. HARPER ALLAYS CONCERNS ABOUT TPP TALKS
Harper said the campaign won’t imperil Canada’s crucial bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive global trade pact the prime minister considers “the fundamental trading network of the Asia-Pacific region.” Talks broke down just before the campaign began, but they’re expected to resume soon _ and the trade-minded Harper is insisting that Canada will remain at the table.