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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks during a campaign stop in Belleville, Ont., on Monday, August 24, 2015. Trudeau is promising to restore a system of lifetime pensions for injured veterans if his party is elected in the October 19th federal election. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The main federal leaders returned to the campaign trail today as the economy stumbled.

The Toronto Stock Exchange was hit by the global downturn, dropping more than 700 points shortly after markets opened, but recovered slightly as the morning went on.

Stephen Harper is in Drummondville, Que. where he is repeating his message that his government is the best bet in uncertain economic times.

The Conservative leader has been battling to deliver that message in the face of revelations from the Mike Duffy fraud trail that have linked members of his office to a controversial $90,000 payout to Duffy.

Harper said today the economy is the most important issue facing Canadians.

"Given the challenges around us, we need to stick with a long-term plan that has been working and will work," Harper said today.

Harper, meanwhile, accuses his political opponents of offering proposals that would damage the economy.

"What the other guys are proposing, at a time of enormous market instability, is that they would embark on large-scale, permanent spending increases," he said. "They would finance that through deficits and through big tax increases, including tax increases on workers and on job-creating businesses."

Stephen Lewis, a former Ontario NDP leader, is to join NDP Leader Tom Mulcair at a campaign event in Toronto this morning.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is promising to restore a system of lifetime pensions for veterans in an attempt to win support from angry ex-soldiers, usually drawn to the Conservatives.