Harper touts TPP as opponents call for more details on compensation

OTTAWA — Stephen Harper hit the hustings Tuesday morning touting a landmark trade deal, and new money to pay for any ill effects the agreement will have on the domestic auto sector.

The Conservative leader announced a $1-billion package to help the auto industry cope with the repercussions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, after unveiling a similar $4.3-billion package for dairy farmers a day earlier.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the money is being used to “buy off favoured sectors” and “simply punish taxpayers” with unneeded spending.

The signing of the 12-country Pacific Rim pact dominated talk on the election trail Tuesday, as Harper’s opponents raised questions about the deal, while auto workers protested outside Harper’s event in Whitby, Ont.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called on Harper to release the full text of the agreement before Canadians go to the polls on Oct. 19 so they can see how many jobs are at risk because of the trade deal.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says he wanted more information on the compensation packages designed to ease the transition for the auto sector to the deal’s new tariff structure.

The Canadian Press

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