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Trudeau promises transit investments

by Laura Marchand October 6, 2015

The Liberal party leader says the party will quadruple public transit funds

Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, stopped in Pointe-Claire on Oct. 1 to discuss transportation infrastructure in the Greater Montreal area.

Greeted by the party’s faithful, Trudeau assisted in constructing a forklift before addressing the crowd on issues such as the light-rail system on the new Champlain Bridge, quicker access to the Montreal—Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, and rapid transit to and from the West Island.

The initiative is a part of a Liberal promise to quadruple federal funds allocated to public transit, totalling an additional $20 billion over 10 years. Trudeau said the investment will “create jobs, grow our economy, and strengthen the middle class.”

“[Montreal] is an important part of Canada’s economic success, and we need to make sure it can continue to thrive,” said Trudeau. “That’s why we need investment in public transit.”

Trudeau continued to note that public transit “creates opportunities for businesses nearby,” and that “effective, modern public transit is a fundamental benefit for Montreal.”

Trudeau also promised to “make sure that the [Champlain] bridge is toll-free, ” and to “work collaboratively on the rapid transit line into the West Island,” which included AMT commuter trains.

Following his speech, Trudeau took questions from reporters and was asked to address how diminishing NDP support in the province was not translating into support for the Liberals, especially among students.

“I think one thing that Canadians of all ages realize is that [Thomas Mulcair] has made a fundamental error in choosing to make his top priority balancing Mr. Harper’s budget,” said Trudeau. “That means he’s not able to invest in the kind of public transit and affordable housing that our historic new investments in infrastructure will deliver. He’s not able to make the kinds of investments in the future of our country and our community that the Liberal party is offering.”

Trudeau continued to assert that if students are looking for an innovative government, they will not find it under Mulcair.

“The real progressive voice in this election is not from the NDP, it’s from the Liberal party,” said Trudeau.

In a plan released on Monday, the Liberals promised to increase the maximum Canada Student Grant for low-income students to $3,000 a year for full-time students. The plan would also only require students to start paying student loans after they start earning more than $25,000 a year.

Jenny Rasaiah, a John Abbott College student, attended the Trudeau event because she was concerned about her future and education. She said she’s not entirely sure if the Liberal party has her interests in mind.

“I agree with a lot of what he’s saying,” said Rasaiah. “But I’m still kind of hesitant because … he’s saying he’s going to put money into people’s pockets, but he’s not showing us how he’s going to do that. I’m still weighing my options.”

Among other topics, Trudeau also addressed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, criticizing Harper for lacking transparency in the negotiations, and allegations that a donor who was active in the Liberal party is wanted on corruption charges in China. He clarified that that man is no longer active with the Liberal party.

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