Trudeau visits Southwestern Ontario, praises new NAFTA deal
WINDSOR, Ont. -- Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is targeting voters in Ontario's struggling manufacturing heartland, billing his government's NAFTA rescue mission as a critical victory that his NDP and Conservative rivals would abandon.
In Windsor, Trudeau is telling supporters that the hard-charging New Democrats would scrap the new North American trade deal if elected.
And he's portraying Andrew Scheer's Conservatives as enemies of the agreement who urged the Liberal government to give in to the demands of U.S. President Donald Trump and the forces of American protectionism.
Trudeau also says Scheer's proposed $53 billion in cuts to services would undermine the economic benefits of the new NAFTA, which has yet to be ratified in either the U.S. or Canada.
Trudeau was flanked in Windsor alongside Liberal candidate for Windsor Tecumseh, Irek kusmierczyk, Liberal candidate for Windsor West, Sandra Pupatello. and Audrey Festeryga who is running in Essex.
“I am so happy to have three extraordinary candidates by my side,” says Trudeau.
It was the Liberal leader’s second visit to the area in less than a month.
Trudeau says he's campaigning hard to stop conservative cuts and elect a progressive government.
He also discussed his plan on climate change, but would not comment if he would be willing to form a coalition government with the New Democrats, should the Conservatives win the election.
“Not only did we move forward on the first and only serious plan to fight climate change that Canada has ever had, but we also saw the lowest unemployment rate in a generation and created over a million new jobs,” says Trudeau.
Later Monday morning, the campaign shifted from trade deals to retail politics.
Trudeau visited a family restaurant in Tilbury, accompanied by his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and their three children, Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien.
It was the first time his family has appeared on the campaign trail since the security threat at a rally in Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday night, where Gregoire Trudeau ended up not joining him on stage as originally planned.
Mellissa Patrick watched her three-year-old daughter, Megan, dance around the restaurant after the Trudeau family left, recalling how the little girl had been unable to walk earlier this year.
She said her daughter has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer in the bone marrow, and needs to travel to London about once a month to receive chemotherapy treatments.
Trudeau had stopped to speak with the pair during his time in the restaurant and Patrick gave him a pin with a bead and ribbon created by Dawn Marchand, mother of Layla Girard, who died of cancer at the age of 12 last week.
Trudeau had spoken with Girard via video call during his first campaign trip to Windsor in September.
Patrick also gave Trudeau one of the "bravery beads" that her daughter had earned for one of her regular trips to the hospital for treatment. Trudeau showed it to his youngest son, Hadrien, and said they would talk later about things he could do to be brave.
Patrick said she wanted to thank Trudeau for the Liberal campaign pledge to devote $30 million to pediatric cancer research next year.
"It's a long road for childhood cancer and we need the funding and it needs recognition," she said.
On Monday afternoon, Gregoire Trudeau joined her husband, along with their two eldest children, to pump up the crowd at a campaign stop in London.
Trudeau, whose voice is getting hoarse, said their youngest son stayed back on the bus for the event because he was overwhelmed by the crowd.
Gregoire Trudeau told the audience, many of them members of visible minority communities, they are the ones working to show diversity makes Canada a better place.
"It's you, it's in your lives, every single day, the sacrifices that you make through your jobs and your families, that will allow us to create more equality and more love and more unity and more justice in this country," she said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2019.