Good Monday morning! It’s week nine of the election campaign. With exactly two weeks until Canadians head to the polls, the political parties are pulling out all the stops. On the weekend, the Liberals released five new political ads, taking aim at Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s record. The NDP are targeting seats in southwestern Ontario and rebranded the leader’s tour to the Southwestern Ontario Momentum Tour from “Campaign for change.” The Conservatives, meanwhile, are taking a steady as she goes approach as polls show it’s becoming a two-way race between them and the Liberals. To put it all together, Innovative Research Group pollster Greg Lyle will be in Toronto today at a Public Affairs Association of Canada breakfast event. He will talk about the campaign so far, including battleground ridings, party brands, which issues matter and how leader images are changing. He’ll also talk about the impact of advertising and key campaign events. The event takes place at Borden Ladner Gervais offices (40 King St. West) at 8 a.m. Read Mr. Lyle’s latest for The Hill Times here. Where the leaders are, day 64 (all times local) The leaders will be focusing on campaigning in southwestern Ontario today, a key battleground area. To read more about where Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trdueau and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May have been so far and what it means in the final stretch of the campaign, click here. Mr. Harper will deliver remarks in Richmond Hill, Ont., today at 2:45 p.m. He will be joined by Conservative candidates Costas Menegakis, running for re-election in Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, Ont., and Michael Parsa, running for election in Richmond Hill, Ont. Mr. Mulcair will make an announcement in Toronto 12:15 p.m. Mr. Trudeau will attend a campaign event at Wilfrid Laurier University today at 10 a.m. in Waterloo, Ont. He will then head to Oakville, Ont., to visit Taste of Colombia coffee shop at 3 p.m. Mr. Trudeau will then head to Stoney’s Bread Company in Toronto for a photo opportunity at 4:50 p.m. and then attend a town hall hosted by VICE, in Toronto, at 6:30 p.m. Ms. May will be on Vancouver Island today to unveil the Green Party’s plan to defend Canada’s waterways. She will make the announcement at 9 a.m. in Cowichan Bay B.C. Elsewhere on the agenda (all times local) Liberal candidate Rodger Cuzner will hold a press conference about the Liberal plan to grow the economy at 10:30 a.m. in Wellington, P.E.I. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is hosting an Ottawa-area candidates debate at 7 p.m. today. Nepean, Ont., Green Party candidate Jean-Luc Cooke, Ottawa-Vanier NDP candidate Emilie Taman and Ottawa Centre Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna will be at Ottawa City Hall to participate in the debate. Photo of the day Front row: sales executive Steve Landreville, production staffer Pam Frampton, publisher Jim Creskey, and news editor Kate Malloy. Middle row: production staffer A.J. Creskey, Anne Creskey, Lisa Creskey, sales representatives Mary Copping and Art Thomas, and publisher Ross Dickson. Back row: sales manager Ivan Gunter, freelance writer Andrew Griffin, sales executive John Hare and reporter Paul Anderson. The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey Happy birthday to The Hill Times! Exactly 26 years ago today, Parliament’s newspaper of record was born, the brainchild of publishers Jim Creskey and Ross Dickson. Brian Mulroney was prime minister, the GST was being debated, Audrey McLaughlin was elected as the NDP leader and became Canada’s first female leader of a major party, and Marc Lepine murdered 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique. Robert Marleau, former clerk of the House of Commons, remembered when The Hill Times was first published. “It first skidded across my desk with its youthful, rebellious look and freshly-printed scent. Many on the Hill then surmised that it would soon follow on Frank’s footsteps, or risk falling into oblivion,” Mr. Marleau said in 2009, during HT’s 20th anniversary celebrations. “But Meech Lake and GST helping, it wasn’t long before The Hill Times managed to fill this unique niche that no other paper or media can fill: providing a balanced view from the inside on policy development, while educating politicians, public servants and Canadians on how Parliament conducts its business.” In a way, The Hill Times has led the niche reporting that is popular in today’s digital news transformation and is successful because of it. For owners and publishers Mr. Creskey and Mr. Dickson, the success came as a small surprise. “I don’t know if we set out to do this, but what we realized very early on is that by publishing this newspaper, we were helping to kind of create the glue in a community,” Mr. Creskey said on HT’s 20th anniversary. “There was nothing else that was doing that. All of the other media were reporting on the community as seen from the outside, not in terms of the lives and attitudes and assumptions of the people who were on the inside. In a way, that was one of the encouragements that kept us going even when we were having a hard time financially getting the paper off the ground.” Today, with four other publications (Embassy, Parliament Now, The Lobby Monitor and The Wire Report) and a books and events division, Hill Times Publishing has become one of the most successful independent media companies in the country. Cheers!