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NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair greets a supporter during a federal election campaign stop in Saint Jerome, Que., on Saturday, August 22, 2015.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is using the anniversary of his predecessor's death to promise he'll run a positive campaign despite attacks from his rivals.

Mulcair attended a corn roast on Saturday in St. Jerome, a Montreal-area suburb, where a moment of silence was held for Jack Layton, who was seen by many as a positive campaigner. The former popular leader of the NDP died Aug 22, 2011, just a few months after he led the party to its best showing ever at the federal level.

Mulcair said the fact the Conservatives and Liberals are increasingly attacking him is a sign the NDP campaign is going well.

His rivals were off the campaign trail Saturday, but the Liberals tried to fill the news void by sending some of Justin Trudeau's top lieutenants into the fray.

High profile incumbents John McCallum, a former bank economist, and Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist and author of books on income inequality, held a news conference in Ottawa to try to poke holes in the governing Conservatives' economic record.

McCallum told the news conference that Canada is the only G7 country in recession.

The Liberals point to their record in the 1990s as proof they can eliminate deficits, balance the books and stimulate economic growth.

Stephen Harper has maintained the economy is being affected by international developments beyond Canada's control.