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Tight race into final week of election, Singh campaigns in Lower Mainland amid NDP surge

Last Updated Oct 14, 2019 at 11:36 am PDT

(From top left) Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer , Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party leader Elizabeth May. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld, Andrew Vaughan, Cole Burston, Patrick Doyle)

Multiple polls put the Liberals and the Conservatives in a dead heat into the final week of the election campaign

NDP support is rising nationally, and Leader Jagmeet Singh is in the Lower Mainland

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is in Manitoba, with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in Ontario

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – One week out from the election, support for the NDP is rising quickly, and Leader Jagmeet Singh is spending another day campaigning in Vancouver.

Multiple polls put the Liberals and the Conservatives in a dead heat, but a late surge in the polls for NDP leader Jagmeet Singh could make him a key player post-election. The latest numbers from Nanos shows Liberals and Conservatives tied at 32 per cent support each, with NDP at 19 per cent.

RELATED: Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh is now walking back a statement he made Sunday, suggesting he would form a coalition with the Liberals if there is a Conservative minority government.

“I reject that analysis. I say to Canadians, if you want someone who’s going to fight for you, who’s going to make sure the wealthiest pay their fair share with a super wealth tax that no-one else is willing to put forward, we have the courage to do that, to pay for healthcare, to pay for pharmacare.”

His suggestion of a coalition Sunday seemed to be in direct response to Justin Trudeau, who is sending the message that voting Liberal is the only way that centre-left voters can avoid making Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer prime minister on Oct. 21.

Right now the polls are not pointing to a clear winner, but suggest a minority government in parliament, which could give Singh considerable power post-election.

The NDP leader is in Vancouver Monday visiting Granville Island for the Turkey Trot Run in the morning, and meeting with picketing hotel workers downtown early afternoon.

For his part, Scheer has moved past Oct. 21 and is painting a portrait of himself inside the Prime Minister’s Office, detailing what the first 100 days of a Conservative government would look like. He’ll take that message to Winnipeg today.

Meantime, 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

RELATED: Trudeau blasts Tories for platform delay as advanced polls open

In the southwestern Ontario border city of Windsor, Trudeau is telling supporters that the hard-charging NDP 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.

“We were able to stand up, stand up to Donald Trump and his punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum, we were able to stand up when he wanted to tear up a trade deal that Windsor, indeed, all Canadians rely on,” he said.

“I’ll remind people that when we made a significant deal about including protections for women, protections for workers, protections for the environment, mentions of Indigenous peoples in our negotiating position around NAFTA, Conservatives and others, laughed at us, and told us we shouldn’t be doing that as part of NAFTA.”

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.

– With files from Cormac Mac Sweeney