NDP Leader Tom Mulcair made a campaign stop at the Maple Ridge riding office of local candidate Bob D'Eith early on Monday, in the last week of the federal election race.
"I'm thrilled that Tom Mulcair is with us today, to kick off the most important week in our campaign," said D'Eith, NDP candidate in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.
Flanked by supporters waving orange stop signs that read "Stop Harper," Mulcair hammered the point that "only the NDP can defeat the Conservatives."
The opposition leader said if his party can pick up 35 seats, it can bring down the Harper government. The Liberals, he said, need to gain 100 to bring change to Ottawa – although polls show the Liberals have more public support than the NDP nationwide.
At the dissolution of Parliament, the NDP had 95 seats, and the Liberals 36, while the Conservatives held 159.
Mulcair talked about fighting climate change, protecting health care and creating jobs. He promised to repeal Bill C-51, provide $15 per day child care and "make corporations pay their fair share."
"Health care, child care, pharmacare, Mulcair" was one of the lines his supporters enthusiastically cheered.
Mulcair did not reserve all of his criticism for the prime minister.
"While I was taking on Stephen Harper in the House of Commons, Mr. Trudeau was voting with Stephen Harper 71 times," Mulcair said to loud boos from the room, packed with supporters.
The NDP campaign believes D'Eith and Conservative candidate Mike Murray are running shoulder to shoulder leading to the Oct. 19 vote. Mulcair's strategic visit is part of an itinerary that will include stops in Saskatchewan and Ontario ridings.
Mulcair is the second national leader to stop in the riding since the writ was dropped, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper held a rally at Pitt Meadows airport on Sept. 15.