NDP Leader Jack Layton will start his day by speaking to reporters in Montreal. Polls suggest his personal popularity is driving up his party's fortunes in Quebec and Mr. Layton will be in the province several times in the coming days.
At 4 p.m. he will have his picture taken outside Montreal's famous Schwartz's deli and will then hold a rally for supporters at the Theatre Corona in the city. In the evening, Mr. Layton and his entourage will watch a Canadiens game at La Cage aux Sports in the Bell Centre.
Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe will spend Thursday in the city of Gatineau, in a traditionally Liberal region of Quebec. The Bloc won in one of the city's two main ridings, also called Gatineau, in 2006 and in 2008, and is looking to fight off strong local campaigns by the Liberal Party and the NDP. He will have a breakfast meeting with party supporters, and end the day at a sports bar to watch the Montreal Canadiens take on the Boston Bruins.
Stephen Harper will start Thursday with a visit to Beaupré, northeast of Quebec City, heading after that to an event near the Toronto airport. From then till Good Friday the Conservatives plan to campaign nonstop from one end of the country to another, hoping to shore up support in the Quebec City region, wooing voters in Newfoundland, which shut the Tories out in 2008, and courting, imploring and cajoling voters around Toronto and Vancouver.
Michael Ignatieff is borrowing a Stephen Harper stand-by Thursday, staging a press conference in a hardware store. The Gatineau Rona will be the Liberal leader's first public event following back-to-back debates.Rather than hop on a plane, Mr. Ignatieff is sticking around the National Capital Region for a day in the hope of winning back seats that once were Liberal red not that long ago.
The morning event at a Rona hardware store is meant to highlight the Liberals' proposal for a permanent home renovation tax credit. The store is in the riding of Gatineau, where Steve MacKinnon - former national director of the Liberal Party - is trying to unseat the Bloc Québécois incumbent Richard Nadeau. The race gets more interesting when you factor in the NDP candidate. Françoise Boivin, was the Liberal MP for Gatineau between 2004 and 2006. This is her second time running for the NDP.
Mr. Ignatieff then heads east of Ottawa to St. Isidore, Ont., in the Conservative-held riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, which was once a Liberal bastion under former cabinet minister Don Boudria. He has an evening BBQ scheduled there.
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