NDP Leader Tom Mulcair fielded questions Tuesday about the costing of his platform by saying he will open the accounting books on his promises in due course.
The New Democrats have vowed to balance the books next year if they win power in the Oct. 19 election despite several pricey spending commitments, such as Mulcair's plan to create one million $15-a-day child-care spaces.
That program would eventually cost $5-billion annually once it's fully implemented in eight years.
His balanced-budget pledge has come under attack by rivals who say that because of the weakened economy he will be forced to pay for his promises by hiking taxes and cutting services.
Asked when he would release his fully costed program, Mulcair replied that his opponents had yet to produce their own plans.
He said his party would release the "exact accounting" of costs and revenues "at a time and place," but only after the NDP announces a few more promises.
"It's our homework," said Mulcair, who was campaigning at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, where he promised $160-million over four years to help the Canadian aerospace industry.
Mulcair noted that he has already announced the NDP would pay for its pledges in part by cancelling the Conservatives' $2-billion-per-year income-splitting measure for families with kids and by raising corporate tax rates – though he has yet to specify by how much.
He also said he had already announced he would close a loophole on CEO stock options.
On Tuesday, Mulcair promised to help the aerospace industry, a sector that has seen hundreds of layoffs this year.
Mulcair said he would set up a $160-million, four-year fund to help small– and medium-sized aerospace companies adopt new technology and increase production in an effort to better compete globally.
The plan would require firms to show a plan to create jobs and provide professional training to workers.
Mulcair also committed to setting aside $40-million over four years in the Canadian Space Agency's space technology development program to help companies commercialize new technologies.
He said he would also lead trade delegations to help promote Canada's aerospace industry.
"Canadian aerospace innovators and manufacturers need a prime minister in Ottawa who will be a champion for the them on the world stage – and I will be that champion," Mulcair said in Montreal, a hub for the aerospace sector that hosts the headquarters of companies including Bombardier and CAE.
"The NDP is determined to fix the mess caused by the Conservatives."
In May, Bombardier announced it was laying off 1,750 employees in Montreal, Toronto and Ireland, while CAE said last month it was cutting 350.