GATINEAU, Que. — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau plans to spend much of the week trying to shore up support in his home province, where his party has been squeezed by the dominant New Democrats.
Trudeau's Grits won only seven seats in Quebec in the 2011 election, while the NDP's orange wave took 59 of the province's 75 seats.
The Liberal leader, who held the Montreal riding of Papineau in the last Parliament, is hoping to bolster those numbers.
The party seeks to achieve that by fending off support for NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, a Quebec native himself.
Trudeau began Tuesday by holding an event with candidates from the national capital region in Gatineau, Que. He took aim at the Conservative government's economic plan as Statistics Canada released new gross domestic product numbers.
The figures indicate the country was in a technical recession at the end of June.
"The news that is consuming Ottawa today is old hat to Canadians across the country," Trudeau said.
"They know Stephen Harper's approach is failing them. It is about time we had a government that chose to do things differently. That's exactly what the Liberal party will do."
Trudeau's team took a big political risk last week when the party announced it plans to run deficits of up to $10-billion a year for three years to funnel money into infrastructure projects in an attempt to stimulate the economy.
"Stephen Harper's approach has not worked to grow the economy, to create the kinds of jobs and opportunities that Canadians need," Trudeau said.
"That's why we put forward a plan that invests in Canada, invests in growth," Trudeau said.
The NDP and Tories have vowed to balance the books, but Trudeau said that would require the parties to deeply slash their promises.
Steve MacKinnon, the Liberal candidate for Gatineau, said he has received positive feedback on the Liberal's new economic plan while door-knocking.
"Justin Trudeau's plan is really turning heads," MacKinnon said.
"I think it has become a key differentiator in this campaign from that of the New Democrats, who essentially support Mr. Harper's tax plans, support his fiscal framework and support his plan for families."
MacKinnon also said people know the Liberal party is committed to balanced budgets and understand that challenging economic times require steps to fuel the economy.
"They understand that we need to be stimulative," he said.
"We need to open up the ability to not only renew our cities but to put people back to work."
The riding of Gatineau is currently held by the NDP and incumbent Francoise Boivin is seeking re-election.
Trudeau also visited a Tim Hortons in Gatineau, where he was greeted by dozens of supporters who were eager for photos with him.
The Liberal leader is scheduled to hold an evening rally in Laval, Que.
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