NEWS
10/04/2015 11:18 EDT | Updated 10/04/2016 01:12 EDT

Mulcair, Trudeau campaign as potential Pacific trade deal casts shadow on trail

OTTAWA — Tom Mulcair is kicking off the day by trying to cast his NDP as the only party ready to stand up to the Conservatives on a massive Pacific Rim trade deal that could be signed in the coming hours.

The New Democratic leader's campaign is rolling across southwestern Ontario today with half a dozen planned stops in Brantford, Waterloo, Stratford, London, Sarnia and Essex.

It remains to be seen whether Mulcair's blitz will jump-start the NDP campaign, which recent polls suggest has been stalling.

Mulcair has been trying to burnish his social-democratic credentials by insisting he won't be bound by a Conservative deal on the controversial, 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Later today, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will headline what the party has billed as the biggest rally of the campaign — at a hall in Brampton, Ont., that seats up to 5,000 people.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has no scheduled public campaign events today.

But Canadians could hear from Harper on Sunday if high-level meetings in Atlanta produce a deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement his Tories would certainly try to sell as further evidence they are good economic managers.

TPP talks have dragged on three days longer than scheduled and they appear to have reached a make-or-break moment before the Oct. 19 Canadian election.

Green party Leader Elizabeth May will campaign today in Victoria, where she's expected to announce her plan for arts and culture.

The Canadian Press