Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau vows to hike Northern tax break

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau highlighted his party's commitment to improving both the Nutrition North program and a tax break for Northern residents while in Iqaluit on Saturday.

Takes aim at Conservatives' track record in the North during campaign stop in Iqaluit

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's first order on his campaign stop in Iqaluit on Saturday was to highlight his party's commitment to improving the Nutrition North program and the Northern residents' tax break.

He also took the opportunity to criticize the Conservatives' track record in the North.

"Over the years Stephen Harper has been up here trying to tell people that he's got your best interest in mind, but you know that isn't true, his annual photo op is about making himself look good not about helping your community," said Trudeau in a media conference in nearby Apex.

The Liberal leader made a stop in Yellowknife last night to support the N.W.T. candidate Michael McLeod, and is in Iqaluit today to support Hunter Tootoo. 

​Trudeau described the local Liberal candidate as "Nunavut's voice is Ottawa not Ottawa's voice in Nunavut."

Earlier this week the Liberals released their campaign platform with a promise to invest $40 million over four years into the Nutrition North food subsidy program.

We will make sure that northern families have access to affordable, healthy food.— Justin Trudeau

Trudeau told the crowd on Saturday that a Liberal government will bring "real change to Ottawa, and real change to the Nutrition North program."

"We understand that living in the North is expensive, and we will make sure that northern families have access to affordable, healthy food," he said. 

"After 10 years of neglect under Stephen Harper, Liberals will ensure that northern families have money to save, invest, and grow our economy now — not a decade from now."

Trudeau also spoke about his party's pledge to hike the Northern residents tax break by 33 per cent, with benefits indexed to keep pace with inflation. The deduction is meant to offset the high cost of living in the North.

Trudeau did not say, when asked by CBC News, if the benefits would be indexed to Northern inflation rates, which range from five to 10 per cent per year, though his campaign team said later the rate would be higher than the Canadian average — which is about one per cent per year. 

Trudeau is scheduled to host a public at the Inuksuk High School at 6 p.m. ET. 

Baby Lochlyn Wallace-So and his dad Kam So pose for a photo with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau at a Yellowknife rally on Friday. (Shannon Scott/CBC)

Quick Yellowknife stop

The Liberal leader made a campaign stop in Yellowknife last night to support the N.W.T. candidate, Michael McLeod.

In addition to speaking about increasing the Northern residents tax deduction, Trudeau repeated the call for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. He also said new measures, to be introduced by the Liberals, will lift thousands of children out of poverty.

Trudeau also talked about the Conservative Party, comparing Stephen Harper's time in power to a movie with too many sequels. He told the crowd the Conservative Party's magic was gone. CUT 

This is Trudeau's second visit to Yellowknife this year, but his first of the election campaign. He is the third federal leader to visit Iqaluit on the campaign trail. Stephen Harper has made northern campaign stops in Iqaluit, Whitehorse and Hay River, N.W.T., and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair visited Iqaluit in September.

With files from Shannon Scott


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