Jane Taber (The Globe and Mail):
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is launching a new campaign to win over the battleground Greater Toronto Area, renewing his party’s pitch for a child-care plan and repeating his vow to repeal the controversial security legislation.
At a major rally in downtown Toronto on Tuesday night, Mr. Mulcair will lay out the strategy, which is packed with layers of messaging about the city and builds on the momentum the NDP now has in Quebec and British Columbia.
A new social-media campaign includes a minute-long video that features a number of diverse GTA residents, some wearing NDP-orange clothing, talking about why they support the party, including better transit plans and child care. It also emphasizes that this is a historic election for the NDP, and supporters could be part of that as opinion polls are showing the party poised to form its first national government. […]
Mr. Mulcair has been campaigning in the GTA since the election was called at the beginning of August for Oct. 19. With the 78-day campaign halfway done and the Labour Day holiday weekend now over, he is redoubling his focus on the region. […]
Mr. Mulcair often calls Toronto “the most important city in Canada,” a senior campaign official says, but the rally is a “larger effort right across the country” to unite people behind the NDP Leader to try to defeat Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.
There are 25 seats in the city of Toronto in 2015; In 2011, when there were 23 ridings, the NDP won eight (Olivia Chow resigned her seat to run in the 2014 Toronto mayoral race), the Conservatives nine and the Liberals six (Adam Vaughan won the seat vacated by Ms. Chow, bringing the Liberal total to the current seven).
The other GTA seats include ridings north of Toronto, such as Thornhill and Richmond Hill. The 11 ridings in Brampton and Mississauga are also included. NDP strategists believe that Jagmeet Singh’s victory in that area in the 2014 provincial election was the breakthrough they needed. So, they are now trying to run strong campaigns in that area, according to a senior NDP campaign official.
However, the Tuesday evening rally will feature speeches by two female candidates: Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, an NDP MP and Quebec candidate, and Mira Oreck, a candidate in Vancouver. The two women will talk about how voters in those two provinces are uniting behind Mr. Mulcair and getting on board for change.
Mike Layton, a Toronto city councillor and the son of the late NDP leader Jack Layton, will introduce Mr. Mulcair.
Meanwhile, the minute-long video, which is being released on Tuesday, tries to illustrate why Torontonians and people in the GTA should back the NDP.
“I’m supporting the NDP because I need $15-a-day child care in my neighbourhood,” says one woman in the video. Another woman says she is supporting the party because she wants a “fair immigration system.” One other says she wants to be part of making history by voting for a first-time NDP national government.
The video ends with the camera pulling up to the sky, showing leafy GTA neighbourhoods and Toronto skyscrapers and the CN Tower off in the distance as evocative music plays.
The NDP official says the last shot is about connecting every region of Toronto – and giving the message that “we’re part of something big and historic.”