Windsor

Mulcair mocks Harper over TPP deal negotiations during Essex stop

The NDP orange bus made its final stop of a six-riding tour of southwestern Ontario in Essex Sunday evening, with Leader Tom Mulcair repeating his pledge that his party will not feel tied to a Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, while taking shots at Conservative incumbent Jeff Watson.

NDP leader decries Jeff Watson as 'supplicant' of Stephen Harper

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair makes his last stop of a six riding tour in Essex, Ont. Sunday evening. (CBC)

The NDP orange bus made its final stop of a six-riding tour of southwestern Ontario in Essex Sunday evening, with Leader Tom Mulcair repeating his pledge that his party will not feel tied to a Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, and taking more shots at Conservative incumbent Jeff Watson. 

Before a crowd of several hundred supporters, Mulcair took Conservative Leader Stephen Harper to task for a lack of transparency with respect to the TPP negotiations.

"Based on an old quiz show, all day long Stephen Harper has been playing, 'Let's Make a Deal.' Was it going to be Door No. 1 an announcement at 2 p.m., Door No. 2 an announcement at 4 p.m. or Door No. 3 an announcement at 6 p.m?" Mulcair said. "Let me see, how's that working out, Stephen? Looks like his secret deal is so secret, he can't even find it himself."

"We've lost tens of thousands of well paid manufacturing jobs in this region on Stephen Harper's watch, and now he wants authority to kill off tens of thousands of more well paid jobs," Mulcair added. 

Mulcair has accused the Conservatives of enacting policies that cost 400,000 manufacturing jobs since the recession in 2008, including 43,000 in Canada's auto industry.

"We have to send a clear signal that our well-paid auto and manufacturing jobs are not going to be given away," he said.

Mulcair also repeated his promise to have affordable childcare for families and to bring the retirement age back down to 65.

Watson: Mulcair's TPP position 'reckless'

Mulcair threw his support behind NDP Essex candidate Tracey Ramsey while he spoke outside her campaign office to a crowd of several hundred supporters. 

He said Ramsey will not only be an "amazing member of Parliament, but that will also mean we've gotten rid of Jeff Watson."

Mulcair said Watson was "the type of supplicant that Stephen Harper has always thrived on. Jeff Watson comes here to Essex to tell you what Ottawa needs, Tracey Ramsey is going to go to Ottawa to say what Essex needs."

In a phone interview Watson told CBC News he has been an influential voice for the region. 

"Listening to our stakeholders, bringing their concerns to Ottawa, working hard and in exchange delivering billions in results for this region, whether that's the auto industry, [or] infrastructure with the new Gordie Howe International Bridge," said Watson.

This was not the first time Mulcair took aim at Watson. Not long before the election campaign started, during a stop in Amherstburg, the NDP leader made similar comments about the Conservative MP. 

In reaction to Mulcair's comments about the TPP deal, Watson said the NDP leader's assertion to "tear up a TPP agreement in principal has just disqualified him from any hope of becoming Prime Minister. You don't destroy relationships with trading partners and allies, that is not only irresponsible, it is entirely reckless."

'I don't make them come to me'

Mulcair, who made a stop in Stratford, Ont. earlier Sunday, also mocked Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, after noticing Liberal supporters getting on a party bus in that city, which was heading to the Liberal rally in Brampton. 

"They were bringing buses from Stratford to see Justin in Toronto," Mulcair told the crowd. "Hey, I want to fight for farming families in Stratford, I go to Stratford, to fight for those families, I don't make them come to me." 

Liberal Essex candidate Audrey Festeryga was at the rally in Brampton. 

"If Tom Mulcair is talking about being so environmentally friendly, do you not think it's a whole lot better to put a number of people on one bus and only have one bus travelling down the highway, it's a very responsible thing to be doing," she said. 

Trudeau has not made a stop in the Windsor-Essex region since election campaigning started. 

When it came to the TPP deal Festeryga said "not too many months ago [Mulcair] said TPP was the way to go, now he's saying it's not, I just don't think you can trust him to follow through one way or the other." 

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