NEWS
08/31/2015 16:43 EDT | Updated 08/31/2016 01:12 EDT

A look at key developments on the federal campaign trail Monday

OTTAWA — A look at key developments Monday on the campaign trail:

The Conservatives talked about the economy but Tory Leader Stephen Harper suggested security would be his topic of choice in the days ahead. The New Democrats were also talking about the economy, taking aim at Harper's track record a day ahead of new data expected to shed light on whether the country has been through a recession this year. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took the day off.

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Conservative Leader Stephen Harper campaigned in Ontario on Monday, taking aim at the other parties for spending promises he said would invariably lead to higher taxes for the middle class, a route he said his party did not want to follow. With Statistics Canada set to report second-quarter GDP numbers on Tuesday, Harper refused to talk about whether the country has slipped into recession under his watch. He suggested he would instead be talking about Canada's military mission against Islamic State.

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NDP Leader Tom Mulcair again hammered Harper's track record, saying it's clear the Conservatives economic plan has failed regardless of what Statistics Canada reports on Tuesday. The New Democrat said figures show that 200,000 more people are unemployed than before the 2008 recession, and 400,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared. In Saskatchewan, Mulcair also announced measures aimed at ending violence against women by promising to restore a shelter-enhancement program scrapped by the Conservative government.

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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took the day off from the campaign trail for unspecified reasons, but a spokeswoman noted he had been on the hustings on the weekend when the other leaders were off. A Liberal candidate did put out a statement accusing Mulcair of shredding his transit-funding promise, prompting New Democrats to accuse the Liberals of making things up.

The Canadian Press