Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made a brief appearance at Yellowknife’s Mildred Hall School to begin his weekend tour of the North.
Trudeau, who will appear in Iqaluit on Saturday, took no questions as he addressed a crowd of around 300 people for 10 minutes. He arrived at Friday’s event around 45 minutes late. According to Liberal Party aides, his flight had been delayed.
An average of the latest polls suggests Trudeau’s Liberals hold a slender national lead, with 33.9 percent to the Conversatives’ 32.4 percent.
Following a short introduction from NWT Liberal candidate Michael McLeod, Trudeau told Yellowknife supporters the North “needs a partner that will invest in its people and its infrastructure”.
He reiterated Liberal plans to increase the Northern Residents Deduction – the subject of some recent confusion among Liberal ranks. Local candidate McLeod had initially suggested his party would increase the residency component of that deduction by 50 percent, before scaling that back to 33 percent under questioning.
In Friday’s speech, Trudeau continued: “We will ensure that northern families have the money to save, invest, and grow our economy today, not a decade from now.”
This is Trudeau’s second visit to Yellowknife in 2015. Conservative leader Stephen Harper visited Hay River in August, while New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair has not recently made a public visit to the territory.