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NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair makes a campaign stop at a health centre in Vancouver, on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Globe and Mail is hosting a debate on the economy among the leaders of the three main political parties on Thursday at 8 pm (ET). Click here for more details.

Finance Department figures showing an unexpected surplus of $1.9 billion last year bode well for the NDP's commitment to balance the budget, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said Monday.

"Today's numbers are good news for Canadians," Mulcair said after making a health funding announcement in Vancouver.

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"It shows that the NDP is going to be starting off on the right foot by proposing to have a balanced budget, talking to Canadians about what we can accomplish together in health care, quality, affordable $15-a day child care."

Mulcair has promised a surplus within the first year of an NDP government. Opponents — particularly Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau — have accused Mulcair of being reckless in making such a commitment.

But Mulcair said the surplus for 2014-15 supports his vision for the economy and his party's plans to ramp up spending for health and other areas in later years of a mandate.

Some of that spending would include half a billion dollars over the next four years to build medical clinics and hire more health-care professionals.

That proposal announced Monday involves investing $300 million to build 200 additional clinics and spending $200 million to create recruitment grants for health-care providers.

New Democrats say they want to provide stable, long-term health funding and work with the provinces and territories to help people access care.

Mulcair is keen to drive home his message on health this week.

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In Vancouver on Sunday, the NDP leader announced plans to invest $1.8 billion over four years to expand home care for 41,000 seniors, create 5,000 additional nursing beds and improve palliative care services.

The party plans to release its full financial framework ahead of Thursday's debate in Calgary on the economy.

Mulcair has recently focused his political sights on B.C., where the party hopes to double its seat count to at least 24.

The party's senior campaign adviser, Brad Lavigne, says Mulcair will continue to circle back to the province due to growth prospects for the party.

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