OTTAWA — A look at key developments Sunday on the eve of the federal election:
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau found himself under fire from his two main opponents, with Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and the NDP's Tom Mulcair pointing to the fiscal record of past Liberal governments as well as their political failures. Harper appeared almost angry when he gave a forceful denunciation of Liberal governments and the cost to voters of Liberal spending promises. Mulcair tried to resurrect ghosts of past Liberal scandals as he renewed his attacks over the resignation of the Liberal campaign co-chairman who gave strategic advice to TransCanada Pipeline about how to get the Energy East Pipeline through should there be a change of government after Monday's vote.
Trudeau kicked off the last day of the campaign by taking his pitch for votes to Alberta, the heart of Conservative support. The Liberals are hoping that pitch resonates in a province that has been reeling from low oil prices, leading to mass layoffs in its once-thriving energy sector. Hoping to secure the first Grit seat in the province since Anne McLellan lost her seat in 2006, Trudeau made this overture to Albertans: "I will never use western resources to try to buy eastern votes."
The polls may say one thing, but the parties were working hard to remind supporters that what matters is who shows up to vote. Peter Van Loan, the incumbent Conservative MP and candidate for the riding of York-Simcoe, north of Toronto, said elections in some close ridings will be decided by who doesn't vote. In a message to party supporters, Van Loan said Conservatives who stay home are tacitly voting for the Liberals and "all those Liberal taxes."
Benjamin Perrin, a former lawyer for the Prime Minister's Office, said the Conservative government has "lost the moral authority to govern." In a statement to The Canadian Press, Perrin said he felt there was no other choice but to abandon his lifelong Conservative vote after what he had personally seen and experienced while at the PMO. Perrin worked in the PMO in 2012-13 and was part of the staff that dealt with the scandal surrounding Sen. Mike Duffy's contested living expenses.
The memory of Jack Layton became part of Tom Mulcair's last appeal to voters as he invoked his predecessor's name three times at a NDP campaign rally in Toronto. Reminders of the man who delivered New Democrats to the doorstep of power in 2011 were sprinkled everywhere at the waterfront convention centre where Mulcair spoke. Layton's widow, Olivia Chow, who is running in Spadina-Fort York, sat in the front row along with other Toronto-area candidates. A man wearing a T-shirt inscribed with the words "I am Jack's Legacy" wandered the cavernous hallways.
The Canadian Press